Winter is in full swing and with it comes a slew of nasty colds and flu. It seems like every other person you know is hacking and sneezing, leaving you wondering how to avoid getting sick this season. Well, you’re in luck! We’ve put together a list of the 5 most common winter sickies and how to avoid them. Keep reading for helpful tips on staying healthy this winter.
The flu, or influenza, is a highly contagious virus that can cause mild to severe symptoms like fever, body aches, fatigue and sore throat. It’s spread through contact with an infected person’s saliva and mucus droplets, so it’s important to wash your hands often and avoid touching your nose and mouth too much. To reduce your risk of getting the flu this season, get a flu shot at the start of winter –this will help protect you all season long.
Common colds are caused by several different viruses that infect the upper respiratory system (nose and throat). Symptoms include nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes and coughing. Although there is no cure for the common cold, there are steps you can take to ease your symptoms and reduce your chance of infection. These include washing your hands frequently, avoiding contact with people that are sick, wearing a kf94 mask and drinking plenty of fluids.
Norovirus is an extremely contagious virus that causes diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach cramps. It’s usually spread through contaminated food or drink but can also be passed from person to person via contact with stool or vomit particles. To help reduce your risk of contracting norovirus practice good hand hygiene – wash your hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom, before preparing food and after changing diapers.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus bacteria. It’s easily spread through contact with an infected person’s saliva and mucus droplets, so it’s important to wash your hands often and steer clear of people who are coughing or sneezing. Symptoms include sore throat, fever, headache and sometimes swollen glands in the neck. If you think you may have strep throat it is important to see a doctor for treatment as soon as possible. Also, avoid sharing utensils and other personal items with people who may have strep throat.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes (the airways that lead from the trachea into the lungs). It can be caused by either a virus or bacteria, however most cases are viral. Symptoms include chest congestion, wheezing, coughing and sometimes a fever. To help reduce your chances of getting bronchitis avoid contact with people who are sick and practice good hand hygiene.
Remember – the best way to stay healthy this winter season is to take preventive measures like washing your hands often, avoiding close contact with those who are unwell and getting vaccinated against the flu. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to stay in tip-top shape all winter long!