It’s safe to say that you’re aware that viruses become much more common during the winter months, but do you know why that is or what causes the increase in viral activity?
Our AFC Urgent Care Monroe Road team provides some helpful explanations below, so keep reading!
What Causes Viral Infections to Increase in the Winter?
One of the most prominent explanations for the rise in viral cases is the cold weather. While cold weather itself doesn’t increase the number of viruses, it does make it more difficult for our bodies to fight off viruses and other illnesses because cold weather reduces our ability to expel mucus from our noses, allowing a virus to enter the body.
Plus, cold weather is a more conducive environment for viruses like COVID-19 and the flu to live in. We’ve listed a few other reasons viruses tend to get more common in the winter months below.
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.
What Can I Do This Winter to Avoid Contracting a Virus?
While it’s not really possible to completely prevent falling ill with a virus this winter, there are a number of methods you can use to reduce your risk, which we’ve outlined in the section below.
Getting vaccinated may be the most effective technique. The flu and COVID-19 are the two most hazardous illnesses that we are currently dealing with, and vaccines are available to tackle them. Please consider being vaccinated if you haven’t already!
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.
Are you feeling sick? If so, we can provide the care and treatment you need, so don’t hesitate to stop by our AFC center today!