Why Do We Catch the Cold and Flu Most Often in the Winter?
|Why do colds and flu often start in the winter|
Why do colds and flu spread more in winter?
The immune system plays an important role in limiting the spread of the virus. People with weakened immune systems are more likely to get sick. Lack of sleep and malnutrition are also susceptible to colds and flu because the immune system is weakened. In young children, it directly affects the trachea, causing symptoms of laryngitis due to the size of the airways in young children.
Dr. William Schaffne (Vanderbilt University, USA) shared: Winter is a time when many people are more susceptible to respiratory infections. First, because people are in more enclosed spaces and face-to-face contact is longer. Crowded spaces help spread virus-containing droplets. The second reason has to do with humidity. The virus stays in moist air longer in winter, so it can spread more easily from person to person. As a result, people can get sick if exposed to these germs regardless of the weather, but most often in winter, especially flu and colds.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the peak flu season usually begins around October and peaks in the winter. Cold weather can facilitate the growth of the flu virus, but other factors are also responsible for the increase in flu cases at this time.
In temperate regions, flu season often coincides with cold months. In the tropics, influenza occurs in the rainy season and can be year-round or peak in both winter and summer.
Cold weather affects the airways
Influenza viruses usually enter the body through the airways. Our nose itself has a nasal lining that has a rather complex defense mechanism to block these viruses. However, it is a pity that when it gets cold, especially in winter, not only is it cold but also dry, the bridge of the nose is often cold, the lining of the nose is significantly reduced and viruses go away. body more easily. For example, Rhinovirus - a virus that is really suitable for cold weather.
Vitamin D deficiency from sunlight
In the winter, sunlight is actually quite rare and of course this will have a significant impact on the body's absorption of Vitamin D - Vitamins that help the body build effective defenses against viruses and limit the production of influenza virus.
Moreover, it is undeniable that in winter, we often stay indoors more than go out. In part, this will make it easier for the flu virus to spread from person to person quickly, making it easier for viruses (especially influenza viruses) to break out.
Difference between flu and cold
A cold usually starts with a sore throat and goes away in 1-2 days. Symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, along with cough will appear around the fourth and fifth day. Adults with colds are less likely to have high fevers, but may have a mild fever. Children are more likely to have a fever when they have a cold. For the first few days, the patient has a clear runny nose. After that, the nasal discharge becomes thick and turns green or yellow, which is a very natural progression so you should not be too worried.
Most colds don't last a day, have mild symptoms, have less high fever and are less contagious than the flu, and don't usually cause body aches. Colds rarely cause complications and will go away on their own. However, poor sleep and inadequate nutrition make the resistance weaker, especially in people with allergies, sensitivities, and poor resistance (children, the elderly, people who are sick) are susceptible to infection. sobbing feeling. Therefore, a cold is also one of the favorable conditions for the next influenza virus to attack, especially in the cold season (Autumn-Winter).
In the cold season, people take the flu very seriously because of the ability of the virus to live, survive in an environment at low temperatures and lack of humidity more easily and spread more. Especially in the cold season, the human body "fits" with the flu virus more because at that time the resistance is easily reduced. The flu is often contagious to the whole family. Flu symptoms appear suddenly and very strongly such as very high fever (39 - 40oC), body aches, pain in the eye sockets, runny nose, sneezing with a high frequency, even vomiting and diarrhea.
The flu is an inflammation of the nose along with a sore throat caused by a virus (there are more than 200 viruses that cause this disease). The common cold is not dangerous, but if it is subjective, especially young children, people with chronic diseases are a problem that cannot be subjective.
The common cold starts with fatigue, general weakness, feeling of cold all over, sneezing, headache that lasts for several days, followed by a runny nose and cough. Symptoms can begin 16 hours after illness, peaking 2-4 days after onset. Symptoms usually go away after 7-10 days but some can last up to 3 weeks. Experience shows that in cold and rainy days, especially wet weather with prolonged drizzle, is favorable conditions for the virus to develop, so many people get sick... Moreover, cold and wet weather makes the system sick. The human respiratory system is more sensitive. In particular, spring is the season of increasing allergic diseases such as allergic rhinitis, asthma, obstructive lung diseases... so the number of people with flu also increases.
The flu has a big impact on productivity, because people with colds can still go to work. Over time, the more advanced the symptoms of the disease, the more tired the patient becomes, the more the body aches, the pain in the eye sockets, the burning eyes, the tears, and the easier it is to spread the disease to others, so they have to stay at home for at least a few days. 3-5 days.
Treatment of flu is mainly symptomatic treatment by reducing fever, reducing cough, resting, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, eating lots of fresh fruit. For severe influenza or influenza in a particular location, antiviral drugs are used. A common complication of the flu is pneumonia, especially in children, the elderly, asthma, or people with chronic conditions such as heart or lung disease.
Therefore, the patient must monitor the breathing. If breathing is difficult, panting, shortness of breath, or shortness of breath, the patient must be hospitalized so that the doctor can closely monitor the progress of the disease and promptly treat and prevent serious complications. Another common sign of pneumonia is a fever that comes back after it's gone for a day or two.
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Symptoms and how to prevent disease
Typically, a cold presents with typical symptoms of a sore throat, stuffy nose, cough, and sneezing. There are more than 200 viruses that can cause colds, of which the most common is Rhinovirus. Many people infected with the cold virus do not experience any symptoms.
There are types A, B, and C. The common cold and flu share many of the same symptoms, but flu tends to present with a high fever, body aches, cold sweats, or shivering. As with colds, people infected with the flu may have no symptoms.
Cold and flu viruses enter the body through the nose. However, the nasal mucosa has a defense mechanism against these intruders. If the virus breaks through this protective "barrier", the immune system will continue to attack to neutralize them.
To prevent the disease, the US CDC recommends that people regularly wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching their face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Adults and children should also avoid close contact with people who are coughing and sneezing, and regularly disinfect touching surfaces in the home such as doorknobs.
When going out in the cold, you should keep your body warm, especially the nose and throat area, eat healthy, drink enough water, and avoid excessive exercise. If you have the flu, try to stay home so you don't infect others. An annual flu shot is the best way to prevent illness.
To help prevent colds and flu effectively, we should all do these simple things well:
• Wash your hands with soap and water often,
• If in the classroom, the office ... someone has a cold or flu, they should be isolated to avoid spreading.
• Clean the auxiliary works and items susceptible to virus-containing secretions such as computer keyboards, mobile phones, etc.
• The flu shot is the best way to prevent disease.
• See your doctor when you suspect signs of a high fever that won't go away, a persistent cough, chest pain...
• Exercising, keeping body hygiene ... helps prevent flu effectively.
• For the treatment of colds and flu, there are currently no medicines or herbs that can reduce the duration of infection. Treatment only relieves the symptoms. When you are sick, you need to have a diet, rest more, pay attention to drink lots of water (fresh fruit juice helps strengthen vitamins, it will increase resistance as well as help dry throat). Gargling with salt water is a simple and effective method. In addition, nasal drops that help decongest the nose are also quite effective in treating the flu.
• Using humidifiers such as humidifiers and polluted air purifiers in the room to maintain health and resistance to reduce the possibility of the above diseases.
Through Knowinsiders.com's article, we hope you know what a cold is? What is flu? Why is the cold season easy to catch colds and flu? Thanks to that, we can understand the difference between these two diseases and have solutions to treat and prevent the disease faster and more effectively. Wish you always healthy.
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