Why Do We Get Flu Easily in Winter
Why Do We Get Flu Easily in Winter

In winter, we can hardly avoid coughing and sneezing. But why are people more susceptible to this infection during the cold months?

Dr. Libby Richards, associate professor of nursing with background in public health at Purdue University (USA), said many viruses, including the virushino - the common culprit that causes common colds common - and flu, remains contagious for longer and multiplies faster in cold temperatures.

Viruses spread more easily when it's cold

According to The Conversation, cold weather can change the outer membrane of the flu virus, making it more solid and elastic. Scientists believe this membrane makes it easier for the virus to be transmitted from person to person.

It's not just the cold winter air that causes this problem. Dry air when low temperatures are associated with flu outbreaks. Research by the US National Institutes of Health shows that the dry winter air helps the flu virus to stay infectious for longer.

How the human immune system responds to cold weather is also important. Inhaling cold air can adversely affect the immune response in the respiratory tract. This makes it easy for viruses to penetrate. That's why covering your nose and mouth with a warm scarf can effectively prevent viruses.

Also, usually people get less sunlight in winter. That's important because it's a major source of vitamin D, which is essential for immune system health.

Besides, physical activity also tends to decrease in winter. People often delay exercising in conditions of snow or extreme low temperatures. Instead, people spend more time indoors. That means closer contact with others, increasing the risk of the virus spreading.

Respiratory viruses usually spread within a radius of about 2 m of an infected person. When you are indoors, chances are that you and your loved one are less than 2 meters apart.

In addition, cold weather dries out the eyes and mucous membranes in the nose and throat. Since viruses that cause colds and flu are often inhaled, they can easily attach to these dry and weakened passages.

According to The Weather Channel (USA), cold, dry air in winter can also irritate the airways of people with chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD). This can worsen their symptoms and make them more susceptible to infections like the common cold, pneumonia, and the flu.

Why should you get a flu shot every year?

The flu season is different every year, and the flu virus affects everyone differently. One of the dangerous complications of flu is pneumonia, which can occur when the body is working hard to fight the flu. This is especially dangerous in the elderly, young children and people whose immune systems are not working well, such as those undergoing chemotherapy or transplants.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the cornerstone of flu prevention is vaccination. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older, who have no contraindications to the vaccine, get a flu shot.

When you get a flu shot, your body recognizes the flu virus as not acting as a foreign invader. This is not dangerous, it helps the immune system develop antibodies to attack the flu virus on future exposure. This natural immune response can cause some people to have a low-grade fever, headache, or body aches after the injection. These side effects can be mistaken for the flu, but may in fact be the body's normal response to the shot.

Check More: 11 Simple Ways To Keep Yourself From Coughing And Common Colds

Principles of preventing flu in winter

The most important thing is that you should still take precautions to boost immunity and prevent flu infection during the winter in particular and throughout the year in general. The principles include:

- Wash your hands often.

Avoid touching your face with your hands, which people usually do 9-23 times an hour.

- Drink enough water. Eight glasses of water a day is a good goal, but it can be more or less depending on your lifestyle and body type.

- Have a balanced diet. Dark green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins that support the immune system; Eggs, fortified milk, salmon and tuna have vitamin D.

- Stay physically active, even in winter.

Regularly clean hard, easily accessible surfaces in the home.

- If you often have dry nose and throat in winter, you can use a humidifier in your home.

- Get a flu vaccine.

According to Medical News Today, the CDC recommends that if you have a cold, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people. When you have the flu, you should rinse your mouth, drink plenty of water, blow your nose properly to reduce symptoms, take medicine when you have a fever.

In particular, you should call your doctor if you have any unusual signs, including: difficulty breathing; persistent chest or stomach pain; severe muscle pain or weakness; convulsions; difficulty urinating; recurrent fever or cough; persistent dizziness; exacerbation of chronic underlying disease.

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