Stay warm and dry, or you’ll catch a cold.

How many times did your mother or abuela urge you to don a hat, wear a heavier coat, or sleep with an extra blanket, all so that you wouldn’t catch a draft and therefore catch cold. It’s an old wives’ tale that’s been around—well, as long as there have been old wives!

Bust: Simply put, colds are caused by viruses, and there are more than 200 variations of them.

Each of these viruses’ mission is to attack healthy cells, and it is the immune system’s job to kill the virus without altering or destroying the good cells. But once the virus takes hold, it usually takes the immune system one to two weeks to clear the way. In the meantime, we have a cold.

Read Related: Mommies Can’t Get Sick! Cold Busters to the Rescue

It is a myth, however, that you can catch a cold from cold weather, wind or rain. The truth is
you don’t get a cold from wintry conditions. You get a cold by inhaling infected air emitted by an infected person, or by touching someone or something infected with a cold virus and then touching your nose or mouth, thus transferring the germs into your system.

The best way to keep a cold out? Wash your hands often and thoroughly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hand washing is “the most important and effective way to prevent the spread of infection.”

Read more at The Huffington Post.