With all the coronavirus still all around us and definitely top of mind, and now moving into  the Fall and Winter months, do we, as Minnesotans, have more to worry about going into "cold season"?

The short answer is no, the common cold is not caused by cold Minnesota weather exactly.  But, there are definitely factors that play into that issue.

There are factors that cold weather brings on that do play a part in getting and possibly spreading the common cold.  Mostly "rhinovirus" is passed through person to person contact and also through droplets and aerosols that are spread throughout the air.  Sound familiar?  But some of the factors of cold weather making a "breeding ground" ripe for this type of sickness does exist as well.  Cold weather can reduce your immune system, which makes it harder to fight off any virus infection.  So, that's not great.

There are some other factors that play into this according to the Medical News Today newsletter:

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-Reduced Vitamin D levels: this is mostly just because people aren't outside as much as they are in the warmer months.

-Spending Time Indoors: This can get tricky because you are within close proximity to others. Social Distance, people!

-Lower Temperatures affect immune response: This study was only done in mice...so who knows for sure when it comes to humans, but the mouse immune system was definitely affected by the lower temperature- less than 40 degrees.

-Blood Vessel Narrowing: Breathing in cold air can cause your blood vessels in your respiratory tract to narrow.  This is to conserve heat.  Who knew?

So, technically the cold weather doesn't cause the common cold, but there are factors that contribute to it, because of how we react to the cold weather.

So, I would suggest getting as much vitamin D as possible.  Don't spend a lot of time around others when you are feeling at all sick... wash your hands, cover your cough/sneezes.  All things that we are doing during this time of a global pandemic.