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Colds and flus?

I was raised believing that if you get wet in the rain, you can catch a cold. Same with the infamous saying: "wear a jacket; it is cold out there and you can catch a cold!" - But how can rain give me a cold when only a bug or virus can?

I love this question!! You are right - getting wet or cold is not enough to make you sick. However - there is still something to those old sayings....

When you are cold/wet - your body uses up a lot of it's energy / resources trying to keep you warm and maintain body heat. This fatigues you and wears down the body - thus depleting the immune system as well. This makes it so that if you ARE exposed to a germ or virus you are more likely to get sick from it.

So - no... the cold and wet won't get you but it does make it harder for your body to fight off germs.
You've got it! It was just something that your mom told you so that you'd wear your jacket. Rain can't give you a cold or the flu. Those are both caused only by viruses.
During the winter months the days are shorter and the lack of UV light actually changes the levels of bacteria and viruses in the environment. This belief of getting a cold from the cold comes from this observation of the effect. Also people tend to spend more time indoors, and this gives more opportunity for pathogens to spread person to person.
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