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Cold and flu myths busted


We've all heard the same cliches about colds, but what impact does the weather actually have on the seasonal sniffles? (Ryan Coulter - ABC 7 Amarillo)

I'm sure you've heard the sniffling, coughing, and sneezing in your family, workplace or from someone at the grocery store. It's the annual sign that cold and flu season is here.

We've all heard the same cliches about colds, but what impact does the weather actually have on the seasonal sniffles?

There's a good chance someone has told you not to go outside with wet hair when its cold out because it might get you sick.

"That is a very commonly held belief, but there's no proof that the cold itself makes you get ill," said Doctor Carl Paetzold from ER Now in Amarillo.

While the whole wet hair myth might not hold water. Doctor Paetzold says there is a spike in cold cases this time of year. But does cold weather actually lead to the spike in colds? This myth: FALSE.

"There is a mild amount of evidence that our immune systems may be slightly weakened in the cold compared to normal temperature but it's not true that the cold itself will cause you to get sick," said Paetzold

What the cold weather does impact is everyone's rush to indoors, which is more likely to be the culprit of seasonal sniffling and sneezing.

"It is true that these are much more common in the winter," said Paetzold. "The reason for that is when its cold, we are indoors together a lot more and it also happens during school season."

Something else we've all heard about is the incredible relief Vitamin C can provide while we are sick. But before you reach for your vitamin-packed powder drink, know that it may not be doing as much as you think.

"Vitamin C is one of those things that has always been out there as a preventive type of medicine," said Paetzold. "Not really strong evidence to say it does that, but it's not harmful."

And as far as remedies for colds go, there really isn't a "best" over-the-counter product to reach for. It is more of a trial and error process to see what medicines respond best to the virus.

"It's almost overwhelming to look at the aisle of cough and cold products and try to figure out 'What am I supposed to take?' and its not complicated, you can just pick some brand that you like and try to match up the symptoms you may get the best relief from," explained Paetzold.

Cold and flu season can spike any where between October to the end of March. Doctors recommend getting the flu shot as the biggest defense against the flu virus. Frequent hand washing can also help kill cold and flu viruses you may come in contact with.

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