Doctors weigh in on how weather effects colds - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Doctors weigh in on how weather effects colds

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Is our constantly changing weather to blame for people feeling under the weather? Local doctors who say they're seeing an influx of patients with cold like symptoms.

Sooth Bend resident Melissa Cole says those weather changes are causing her son Joshua to reach for the box of tissues more frequently. "He had the sniffles and runny nose last week and the cough this week," said Cole. So she had him checked out at the South Bend Clinic in Granger. Luckily Joshua just had a normal cold and no infections. Doctors at the clinic are seeing a lot of that lately. Dr. Megan Parrish said, "just this past week I've seen a big increase in cold symptoms especially coughs, runny nose."

But is it really the weather putting more patients in exam rooms? Dr. Ken Elek at the E. Blair Warner Family Medicine Center said not exactly. "I think it has more to do with the way our immune system reacts when we're not as active in the winter time as we are the rest of the year," said Elek.

So it's not the weather directly but how the weather makes a person act. "There's a lot of crowding around. People are inside more so they're in close spaces around other people with the same symptoms." said Dr. Parrish.

What can you do to prevent a trip to the doctors office? Dr. Elek said, "make sure you wash your hands, people use keyboards now so make sure your keyboards get wiped down. If there's anything that's common that people use together make sure it's clean. When you cough, cough into the corner of your arm."

 Even though we've had our fair share of nice days this winter. Doctors say it hasn't done anything to cut down on the normal spike in winter-time illnesses. If you do get sick Doctor Elek says to drink fluids and get a lot of rest.

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