"Pneumonia weather": Fact or fiction

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Have you heard of "pneumonia weather"? It's the idea that an unseasonably warm spell in winter can get us sick. Some of us grew up being told we need to wear a jacket even if it's warm outside in winter. If we didn't we'd get pneumonia.

I first heard of this old wives tale a few days ago, when a few coworkers and facebookers said they were surprised everyone doesn't have pneumonia. So I went to our NBC12 facebook page to learn more.

It turns out it's literally an old wives' tale. Lots of comments begin with: "my mother or my grandmother always told me...You need to wear a jacket even if it is 70° out in January."

Sorry grandma, it's false-- the science doesn't back you up.

There are a few things that make us sick in winter. One being we tend to stay indoors in tight quarters with the windows shut. Germs circulate around the house and at work and we get each other sick more easily than when we're outside in the fresh air.

And it's not the cold either: but when it's cold out or the temperatures swing dramatically, our immune system can become weaker.

But you get sick from a virus or bacteria-- not the weather. So follow that other saying you hear so often and wash your hands. 

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