During the winter months the cold weather forces us to change our lifestyles dramatically. We can no longer do things such as outdoor sports, hiking, swimming, and other pastimes that we enjoyed when the weather was tolerable. For these bitter cold months, we are forced to be cooped inside our homes. Often, we are stuck in close quarters with our family members. This means that one member of the household falls victim to a viral or bacterial infection, these germs spread quickly, often infecting other members of the household. The threat of staying indoors in the winter presents many illnesses that people are at risk of contracting. Here is a look at some flu and bacteria that the body is at risk for contracting during the winter months.
Common Winter-Time Illnesses
A study by Harvard University determined that the flu does survive better in cold weather than in warmer months. The flu is the most common and dangerous threat to public health and safety in the winter months, as well as all throughout the season, well into the springtime. Other common illnesses that threaten patients include:
- Common Cold
Prevent Bacterial and Viral Infections
There are several steps you can take to avoid getting sick this winter.
- Get Vaccinated- This is the most critical element in stopping the spread of influenza during these winter months.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often.
- Use Hand Sanitizer.
- Carry Paper Towels or Napkins- Use these to avoid touching things such as doors, elevator buttons, and other high touch areas.
- Isolate Yourself- If you do contract a contagious illness, especially the flu, it is important to isolate yourself from the rest of your family in order to protect them. Be sure to clean any shared surfaces that you must contact.
Stop by Your Local Urgent Care Center ASAP
If you have not received your flu vaccine, even if it is already late into the winter months, you must obtain one immediately. Getting sick with influenza would spread the illness to everyone in your household, including the possibility of sickening a vulnerable relative, such as an infant or elderly person. This can be prevented with flu vaccination.
If you think that you may have the flu, or any other viral or bacterial infection, stop in an urgent care office ASAP to obtain diagnosis and treatment for your symptoms.