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Can quickly changing temperatures make you sick?

We asked doctors with Washington University Medicine at Barnes Jewish Hospital if this is true.

It's been a wild week in the St. Louis region with a more than 60-degree temperature swing in 5 days. We went from an arctic blast with highs only topping the single digits Wednesday to reaching near 70 Sunday and Monday. 

We're in the prime cold and flu season in the winter, but many have asked if the big change in weather can make more people sick. 

5 On Your Side asked doctors with Washington University emergency medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital if this is true. 

"It is a common misconception that rapid temperature swings make people come down with infectious diseases. For instance, it is true that the largest burden of infections fall during the winter. But, winter is when folks tend to congregate more indoors," said Dr. Gary Gaddis.

Doctors also told us that viruses spread faster in cold, dry air versus warm humid air, which is why we tend to see more common cold and flu cases in the winter.

Dr. Gaddis said the quick change to warm weather can have an effect on health if you're affected by allergies. 

"It is true that at certain times of the year, especially after temperatures warm up, that various allergens like tree pollens, molds or dust can be present at increased levels. However, these things cause allergic reactions, not infectious illnesses."

With temperatures heading back down this weekend, more people will be staying indoors, and in closer proximity. Offices can become a breeding ground for illnesses. 

To stay healthy, it's important to wash hands frequently for 20 seconds at a time, keep hands away from your face, use hand sanitizer, and wipe down shared surfaces such as keyboards and door handles. 

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