Winter has arrived, and it’s a pretty busy time with exciting get-togethers, parties, picnics and family dinners. However, as we get ready for the charming winters, it is also essential that we shouldn’t forget the unpleasant winter diseases, such as the dip in temperature, humidity in the air, and unhygienic conditions which can lead to a multitude of health problems. Knowing how to recognize common winter diseases, their symptoms, and precautionary measures makes it easier to prevent them or treat them efficiently. Flu, common cold, strep throat and other respiratory diseases etc., are common winter diseases. In this blog, you’ll learn about common winter diseases, their symptoms and prevention.
What causes diseases in winter?
There are more infectious diseases in winter than in summer because viruses live longer in colder temperatures and humidity. These environmental conditions are suitable for microbes’ survival and spread to people, so most diseases are caused in winters.
Which diseases are common in winter?
There are the following common diseases in winters:
i. Gastroenteritis and norovirus
Gastroenteritis and norovirus are stomach diseases that are followed by nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Gastroenteritis is highly contagious and caused by bacteria or viruses. Norovirus is mainly spread by contaminated food or person to person transmission. The recovery time is 1-2 days. There is no specific medication to treat norovirus, but drinking plenty of water can make this condition less severe. Avoidance of spicy and contaminated food can prevent gastroenteritis.
ii. Common cold
The common cold is at its peak in the winter season. It is a respiratory disease that is characterized by a stuffy nose, sore throat and coughing. Common cold takes only one day to develop and lasts typically for 7-10 days. There is no specific medication to treat the common cold, but nasal spray and over-the-counter medication can alleviate symptoms.
It is characterized by inflammation in bronchial tubes. The more common symptom of bronchitis is coughing, which may bring up mucus after a few days. It is mainly caused in winters due to environmental changes and constant irritants such as dust, fumes, smog, etc. The recovery time of bronchitis is 7-10 days. It can be prevented by staying at home. In addition, over-the-counter medication and cough drops will help people get better within a week.
iv. The flu
It is a respiratory disease that affects the nose, throat and lungs. Due to its contagious nature, it can spread from one person to another person through coughing, sneezing, or even talking. The common symptoms of flu are fever, cough, chest congestion, chills, and fatigue. The recovery time for flu is 5-7 days. The primary flu treatment is the influenza vaccination, which can be injected before the winter season or when you’re suffering from flu.
Pneumonia is an infectious lung disease that bacteria or viruses in winter can cause. This winter disease can be mild to severe depending on age, overall health and nature of the microbe. The common symptoms of pneumonia are cough, fever, fatigue, chest pain, sweating and shortness of breathing. It is life-threatening for children and those 65 and older. The recovery time of pneumonia is 1-2 weeks, but fatigue can last a month or more. Antibiotics treat bacterial pneumonia, and over-the-counter remedies treat viral pneumatic.
How can you prevent winter diseases?
No one wants to get sick, tired and run down in winter. But, there’s no way to avoid getting sick; you can only take appropriate preventive measures to stay away from infection. Following preventive approaches can help you in preventing winter diseases:
- Wash your hands well
- Keep unclean fingers away from the face
- Make sure everyone gets a flu shot
- Clean common surfaces often
- Eat balanced meal
- Stay active
- Find ways to relax
There are several common winter diseases due to suitable weather conditions for viruses and bacteria. More common winter diseases are gastroenteritis and norovirus, common cold, flu, bronchitis and pneumonia. The recovery period of each winter disease varies from others. The common symptoms of all winter diseases are cough, fever, fatigue, chest congestion, chills and stuffy nose. There’s no specific medication to prevent these winter diseases. But, by taking some preventive measures, the risk of getting sick in winters can be reduced.