Walking under the rain itself is not likely to make you sick. However, certain factors associated with walking in the rain may contribute to an increased risk of illness.
One factor to consider is that rain can cause certain allergens, such as mold and pollen, to thrive, which can trigger allergies or exacerbate existing allergy symptoms. If you have allergies or asthma, it may be a good idea to avoid prolonged exposure to rain, or at least to be prepared with appropriate medications if you do choose to walk in the rain. I usually get the sniffles when I forget my umbrella and walk in the busy streets of BGC, which is why I am always armed with some antihistamines.
Another factor to consider is the temperature. Rain can lower the temperature, and if the weather is cold, being wet for a prolonged time can increase the risk of hypothermia or decreased body temperature, especially if you’re not properly dressed. It’s important to wear appropriate clothing and to be mindful of your body’s response to the cold and wet conditions.
Additionally, walking in the rain can also make the ground more slippery and increase the risk of falls or other accidents. Walking on wet pavement or other wet surfaces can be more difficult and it may be harder to maintain balance. It’s important to take extra care when walking in wet conditions and to pay attention to your footing.
It’s also worth noting that when it’s raining, the air is often more humid which can cause discomfort, especially if you’re walking for a long time. This may be a burden to those who have chronic lung illnesses like asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), diseases that are easily exacerbated by weather changes.
In general, walking in the rain is unlikely to make you sick, but it’s important to be aware of certain factors associated with wet weather that can increase the risk of illness. To minimize the risk of getting sick, it’s important to stay dry, wear appropriate clothing, pay attention to your footing, and avoid standing water when possible. If you have any pre-existing medical condition or concerns, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider before risking it.
Mea Ramos, MD, MBA