5. Pesky pathogens

Modern virology textbooks reject the idea that being cold makes one catch a cold. The standard explanation of why colds are more prevalent in the winter than in the summer is that people spend more time indoors in contact with each other in the winter, which facilitates the spread of the viruses that cause colds.

Still, the folklore surrounding the relationship between cold exposure and the common cold is so longstanding and widespread that a number of researchers have considered it worthy of further exploration. Their studies suggest that Mom’s advice to “Keep warm so that you don’t catch a cold” may not ...

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