Does Cold Weather Weaken Your Immune System

Yes! Cold weather weakens your immune system as you catch more viruses and bacteria in cold weather which make you sick. You can get affected by hypothermia which weakens the immune system in cold weather.

The change of season has effects on the organism and may cause disturbance in the body system. Nowadays the pandemic disease Coronavirus is spreading rapidly and may affect people who have weakened immune systems. Cold weather and viruses both contribute to illnesses in the winter season.

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Immune System And Cold Weather

In the winter season, the Influenza virus spreads rapidly and rhinovirus spreads in spring.

Both the viruses weaken the immune system in cold winters and may interrupt body functions.

Rhinovirus that causes the common cold spreads well in low-temperature surroundings.

Those viruses that enter from the nose may spread at the temperature 33° to 35° celsius and some spread at the temperature of 33° to 37° celsius.

According to research, the immune system generates a strong antiviral defense mechanism at lung temperature compared to the temperature of the nasal cavity.

So, this means that the body is not strong enough to fight the virus in the condition when the temperature of the nose and upper airways is low in a cold environment.

According to some studies, the influenza virus is stable in dry and low temperatures, also some studies suggest that abrupt changes in the surrounding temperature may affect the immune system.

Cold and Heating

A cold environment may force you to stay indoors in a warm environment but it makes it easy for a virus to enter from the nasal cavity because it will be dry and help to enter the virus. 

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Ventilation Or Indoor Humidity

In cold weather, When there is no crossing of air in the room then humidity increases and it may be the reason for the spreading of aerosol droplets of infected people.

Flu viruses will be strong enough in dry temperatures because of the lack of sunlight and more active to transmit the germs in the winter.

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Factors That Affect Immune System

So, firstly know about the factors that may weaken the immune system in cold weather.

1. Sleep

To be strong and healthy, you must have to sleep 8 hours a night because those who sleep less than 8 hours, may be affected by the diseases.

Although, in cold weather nights are long and a healthy person may complete his sleep.

But, If a person is affected by any virus, it may lead to sleeping sickness or insomnia that weaken the immunity of that person.

Although, sleep is efficient for the immune system. So make good habits for bedtime to encourage healthy sleep.

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2. Stress

Although cold may affect the immune system due to a decrease in temperature and if a person’s body is undergoing stress, it indirectly hits the immune system. Stress is also a factor that may weaken the immune system. Stress increases the cortisol level, which is a stress-generated hormone.

Cortisol compresses the production of lymphocytes, which means in stress few white blood cells circulate the body and have more chance to contact with an infection.

Cold Weather Effects On The Immune System

Scientists believe that the change of weather may affect the immune system of a person, making it hard for the person to fight the disease.

Some of the reasons are:

1. Decrease The Levels Of Vitamin D

Exposure to sunlight is reduced in the winter season, so there is less chance to get Vitamin D.

Many people have a deficiency of Vitamin D in the winter season, so their immunity will also decrease.

They are not able to fight diseases with less amount of Vitamin D as it weakens the immune system.

Because the immune system of a body always needs Vitamins D to work properly, that is taken by sunshine.

2. Stay Indoor

People who live indoors mostly in the winter season, become the reason to disperse the viral diseases.

Because viral diseases are contagious diseases and spread rapidly when people are close and spending time with each other.

Scientists have proven that when people share the same air they spread the viruses quickly.

Cold weather prevents the defense mechanism against the infection of rhinovirus.

3. Effect Of Low Temperature

Low temperature may affect the immune system because low temperature weakens the immunity of a person.

The body response is slow and the immune system may be weak to fight disease.

4. Narrowing the Blood Vessels

Respiration in dry and cold environments may affect the blood vessels of the upper respiratory tract to become narrow to absorb heat energy.

Narrowing blood vessels may damage the white blood cells to reach the mucous membrane, so it will make it hard to fight the disease.

Disorders Of Immune System Weaken By Cold

Cold agglutinin disease is a disease that is not occurring commonly, it is a type of autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

In this disease, the immune system of the body attacks and damages its red blood cells due to abnormal or overactivity of the immune system.

When a person who is affected by Coronary artery disease contacts the cold, proteins that capture bacteria attach themselves to the red blood cells and form agglutination.

This gradually causes red blood cells to destroy immaturely and may lead to anemia and their symptoms.

This disease may be primary and secondary means sometimes the cause is known but sometimes not.

Sometimes symptoms are infections, some cancers, or autoimmune diseases.

Treatment may depend on the condition, symptoms that are present in an affected patient, and the cause of the disease.


By taking some measures you can avoid getting sick in cold weather and also protect your immune system.

  • Use supplements of Vitamins D
  • Take proper sleep
  • Hydrated yourself
  • Wash hands properly
  • Use tissue paper when sneezing and coughing
  • Don’t share your food with others
  • Use separate utensils when you are affected by cold or the flu


Although the conclusion is that cold weather directly affects the immune system because viruses can survive and reproduce easily in cold temperatures, spread quickly, and infect people. Also, cold weather weakens the immune system and makes it tough to fight the diseases.

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Adila Zakir

Adila Zakir (USA Federal Drug Authority Certified) Studied medical and medical-related business at the same time Overcame search lethargy Worked for medical search and business marketing consultation Expert in medical writing and has special interest in immunity boosting foods.

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