looking for a reference

Gary Radice gradice at richmond.edu
Tue Dec 8 16:21:01 EST 1998

For class I'm teaching in the spring I want to discuss how people "catch
a cold." Of course, colds and flu are caused by viruses, and not by
having wet hair or sitting in a drafty place. I have seen offhand
references to a study done with British (or in other references they
were American) servicemen who volunteered to be doused with water and
chilled can compared thier incidence of colds with a warm, dry group.
But, I am having trouble finding the actual data.

I suspect that this is a case of a "scientific urban legend," that has
been repeated so many times that everyone believes it is true, but may
not actually have occured. Does anyone know the study I'm talking about,
and can anyone provide a citation to the primary literature? I want to
see the numbers, so I can show my class.

Private replies would be appreciated, since I don't often read this

gradice at richmond.edu

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