If you have kids, it’s safe to say that you’re fully aware that with the winter months come more and more viral infections. Kids often get sick at school between December and February, and this is because viruses, such as the flu, peak during this time of year, according to the CDC.
Why do the winter months cause more viral activity, though? Our AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte team provides some helpful answers below, so keep reading!
Why Do Viral Infections Become More Common in the Winter?
The cold temperature is one of the most common explanations for the increase in viral illnesses. While cold weather does not increase the quantity of viruses, it does make it more difficult for our bodies to fight them. Cold weather limits our ability to remove mucus from our noses, allowing a virus to enter the body.
In addition, winter weather provides a better habitat for illnesses like COVID-19 and the flu to thrive.Viruses are more common in the winter months for a variety of reasons, which we’ve detailed here.
Additional Causes of More Winter Viral Activity
- Spending more time indoors. During the winter, people spend more time indoors with the windows shut, making them more likely to breathe the same air as an infectious person.
- Colder, drier air. The flu and COVID-19 may be able to infect more people in colder, drier settings because they can survive longer.
- Less sunlight and shorter days. We acquire less vitamin D and melatonin when we get less sunlight, which are both important in battling viruses and illnesses.
How Can I Avoid Contracting a Virus This Winter?
While there’s no way to totally avoid being sick with a virus this winter (other than maybe staying in your home for the entirety of virus season), there are a few things you can do to lower your risk, which we’ve listed below.
In addition to considering these strategies, consider getting vaccinated! Vaccination is one of the most effective strategies to fight off viruses, and vaccines are available to combat two of the most prominent, dangerous illnesses: COVID-19 and the flu.
Additional Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter
- Wear 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.
- Don’t share personal items.
Ready to start feeling better? Our AFC Urgent Care South Charlotte is here for you, so don’t hesitate to stop by today!