As Malaysians, we’ve all been told growing up that the rain is bad and could lead to us falling sick. Our parents have also told us (multiple times) that if we ever find ourselves caught out in the rain, we should aim to ‘cover our kepala’. This is also why most dreams of having a romantic love scene in the rain like this…
…end up being left a fantasy.
But does protecting our head from the rain really help us from getting sick?
The science behind why we end up getting sick is pretty simple. Like most things that affect our body, the cold and flu are caused by viruses. This means that we actually have to be exposed to these bugs for it to affect our body.
So, unless you’re actually compromised already, the rain hitting your head does NOT actually make you sick.
However, there are other things coupled with the rain that can affect your reaction.
Why your parents think the rain makes you sick
Our parents may over exaggerate slightly in terms of rain being the cause of sickness but there may be a bit of science behind why they think so.
Yeap. When we get wet, we also end up feeling cold. This feeling of being cold is what leads to most people feeling (but not actually being) sick as cold temperature suppresses the immune system as well. If your immune system is in top condition, you’ll recover in no time. The main culprit is due to a higher chance for the flu virus to spread and thrive in such temperatures.
So if you end up feeling cold, try not to stay that way for too long and remember to keep yourself as warm as you can la.
A weak immune system
If your body’s immune system is compromised, it can increase your risk of falling sick.
A couple of things that can actually alter your immune system include:
- Stress – This particular study found that any significant exposure to stress can cause the immune system to be affected.
- Poor diet – Having a balanced diet is key to protecting your body.
Source: Waking Times
- Lack of sleep – Antibodies and cells that help your body are reduced when you don’t get enough sleep.
- Lack of exercise – Exercise leads to general good health which impacts your immunity.
These are just some of it but there’s also…
Rain & bacteria
Something else that happens when the rain falls is that the dust around gets mixed with it. Dust is loaded with lots of bacteria and viruses and once mixed with rain, it travels into the air.
This combination leads to more people being exposed to them and thus, could lead to more people falling sick.
Basically, if your immunity is not at 100% then you’re more likely to catch whatever bugs or diseases that could be spreading around. This is caused by various things like the environment you’re in (bacteria and viruses already present), your stress levels and much more.
However, if you’re healthy and want to have a little bit of a walk in the rain, go for it! Just be sure to dry off properly later on!
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