Is the Common Cold Worse in the Summer?

A woman laying in bed with the flu, water and medicine on her nightstand.
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Catching a cold is never fun but when it comes during the summer months, it seems to be the ultimate immunity fail. Shouldn’t we be basking in the sun and not blowing our noses under a blanket?

So, how does a summer cold differ from its winter counterpart?
• They last longer – typically 2 weeks
• Symptoms are more severe and can reoccur
• Caused by different viruses

In addition to the usual viruses that circulate during winter months (rhino-, corona- and parainfluenza), enterovirus also makes its rounds during the summer. This complicated virus is what makes a summer cold seem worse. In fact, not only does it cause typical symptoms that include: headache, sore throat/cough, aches, congestion and fever. It can also bring on an upset stomach.

Avoiding summer colds
Because a summer cold can also cause tummy troubles, it shouldn’t be surprising that the enterovirus not only spreads from a cough or sneeze but from fecal matter too. That’s why it’s super important to be mindful of hand washing and avoiding hand-to-face contact as much as possible.

Cooling off in the A/C can seem like the perfect getaway from rising temperatures, but did you know extended direct exposure to cold blasts of air can leave you vulnerable to the infection? The cooler circulated air restricts blood vessels in the nasal passages, reducing our immunity levels.

Hydration, eating a well-balanced diet and maintaining a proper sleep schedule seem like no-brainer tips but let’s be honest – we all slack off a little during summer months. Right? However, staying on a healthy track can keep your summer from going off the rails.

Don’t ignore symptoms
Summer colds can be mistaken for allergies due to prolonged symptoms. Because of the this, we may neglect to rest and properly medicate ourselves. One key distinction between the two conditions is aches. Feeling achy is more associated with a cold rather than a bout of allergies.

No matter the cause, if symptoms persist, contact your physician.

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