AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Warm one day, cold the next. It's something we're all too familiar with in the Texas Panhandle -- and it's also something many think can make you sick. In fact, people have been thinking this way all their lives.
"It's actually pretty common that people will blame the weather," said Dr. Carl Paetzold with ER Now.
Dr. Paetzold says the idea is more of a myth than people realize.
"The common, short answer is no," said Paetzold. "In actuality, your common cold is caused by a virus and not by the temperature."
That pesky cold or flu has more to do with how close you get to those around you than anything else, especially when it's cold outside.
"In cold weather, everyone stays in doors more and so we're closer to one another and therefore we are sharing our germs probably more," said Paetzold.
Couple that with the fact colder weather makes your immune system weaker and allows germs or viruses to spread and grow more quickly.
"People who tend to sneeze into their hand are more likely to spread rather than sneezing in your elbow or with a tissue," said Paetzold.
In the end, Dr. Paetzold says staying home to help not spread your sickness is the best thing. Wash your hands as much as possible and, if you can, get a flu shot. Many doctors say it makes a huge difference.