It’s no coincidence that people become sick more frequently in the winter. According to the CDC, the flu and other viruses are at their peak between December and February every year.
But why is this the case? Our AFC Urgent Care Gastonia team has some helpful answers for you, so read on!
What Causes Viral Infections to Increase in the Winter?
One of the most prevalent causes for the rise in viral diseases is the cold weather. While cold weather does not increase the number of viruses, it does make our bodies’ abilities to fight them more challenging.
Cold weather makes it difficult to clear mucus from our noses, making it easier for viruses to enter the body.Viruses are more likely to cause harm in the winter for a variety of reasons, and we’ve listed some of them below.
Other Reasons for Increased Winter Viral Activity
- Increasing the amount of time spent indoors. People spend more time indoors with the windows shut during the winter, making them more likely to breathe the same air as an infectious individual.
- Colder, drier climates. Because the flu and COVID-19 viruses may survive longer in colder, drier environments, they may be able to infect more people.
- Shorter days and less sunlight. When we don’t get enough sunlight, we produce less vitamin D and melatonin, which are both vital in fighting viruses.
How Can I Stay Healthy During the Winter?
There are various things you can do to be healthy during winter, but vaccination is the best defense. The flu and COVID-19 currently pose the greatest threat to our health, and vaccines for both are available to reduce your odds of contracting them, as well as your risks of being extremely ill if you do.
There are a few other things you can do to boost your chances of staying healthy. We’ve listed them below.
Additional Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter
- Put on a mask. Masks are a simple way to protect yourself and others from the virus by preventing respiratory droplets from spreading.
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Frequent handwashing helps protect against a variety of illnesses, including the flu and COVID-19.
- Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs are less likely to enter your body if you keep your hands away from your face.
- Avoid people who are sick.
Are you experiencing viral symptoms? If so, visit our AFC center to get tested today!