Parties, presents, and pleasure—these are what the winter holiday season must be about. Because of the cold weather, though, your immune system is weakened, so you experience shakes, sniffles, and sneezes instead.
According to Healthline, the cold weather is often blamed for sicknesses, but it’s the germs that cause winter illnesses, not the freezing temperature. When you come into contact with certain viruses, including those that proliferate faster during colder months, that’s when you contract a disease.
With that said, here are the most common illnesses during winter and what you can do to prevent or fight them.
A walk-in clinic in Schererville, Indiana defines the flu as a highly contagious respiratory sickness caused by a virus transferred through the air or close personal contact. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu activity peaks between December and February in the U.S. Flu’s symptoms include a sore throat, coughing, sneezing, and headaches that last for 7 to 10 days.
To ward off the flu, it’s important to wash your hands regularly with soap and water, stay away from people who are sick and keep hydrated.
This illness is also called the winter vomiting bug. Norovirus is a highly contagious disease that induces vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Food and drinks contaminated with the virus can spread the disease quickly. With the amount of food Americans consume during the winter holidays, the risk of contracting the disease is higher than any other season.
To prevent the spread of norovirus, it is imperative to wash your hands regularly especially when handling food.
This illness is caused by the group A Streptococcus bacteria. The bacteria infects the throat and tonsils, making it hard for you to swallow. Additional symptoms may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, and red spots on the roof of your mouth.
A vaccine isn’t available for strep throat, so it’s better to prevent contraction by frequent handwashing and to avoid shared utensils.
Protecting yourself against illnesses helps you enjoy the festivities that the winter weather brings. Updating your flu shots, washing your hands, and keeping your surroundings clean are some of the simplest ways you can stay protected in the coming cold winter months.