The symptoms of the common cold and the flu are very similar in its early forms, but flu symptoms last longer and are more severe. And to most people, wintertime is almost synonymous with cold and flu season. It’s a time when you need your immune system to give its best to decrease your likelihood of catching an illness. So, what is it about the wintertime that makes people sick?
Viruses Love the Cold
There is one common misconception about getting sick during this season—the drop in temperature directly causes it. It’s important to emphasize that it is not the cold that makes you sick, but the virus and germs. While the cold air may contribute to you feeling sicker (you feel colder), it’s the presence of the virus and germs that make you sick.
Viruses replicate better and are more stable in low temperatures and in the dryness, which is why they flourish in wintertime. If the virus is very much “alive” and “active,” the risk factor of you catching it increases. Because of this, you are more vulnerable to the flu in the winter.
Another reason why people get sicker more often in the winter is the cold and dry air affects the respiratory system, which makes it more susceptible to germs. Throughout the year, your respiratory system is lined with mucus, which protects it from germs. In the winter, this layer of protection is significantly weakened.
A Few Preventive Measures
There is no set answer to whether you should stay indoors or outdoors during the wintertime. Being indoors increases the risk of the disease floating in the air, especially if there are infected people around you. Being outdoors is good for you to pick up some much needed vitamin D because having low levels of this vitamin is also linked to the flu. But when you go out, you are exposed to a lot more people who could possibly have the flu.
So how do you keep yourself safe? The best answer is to get the flu vaccination and stay away from sick people. Always wash your hands with soap, avoid being around people who are sneezing or showing symptoms of sickness, and disinfect surfaces that are regularly touched.
And if you become ill, seek urgent care immediately to prevent your condition from becoming worse. Take time off work and other commitments to ensure you don’t pass on your sickness to other people.
Urgent Care Center in Rochester, NY
If you are sick (whether in winter or in spring), the experts at Cornerstone Urgent Care Center are always here to help. We can see you quickly, give you an accurate diagnosis, and provide the care and treatment you need to get you feeling better in no time.
Call us today at (585) 207-0088 for more information or send us a message.