Winter Illnesses

Winter Illnesses to Keep at Bay

By Dr. Shilpa Polumahanthi(MBBS), DocOnline | Posted on November 28, 2018

With the onset of winter, it is host to a lot of fun. However, it also brings with it some illnesses that can be a spoilsport. So, to be on the safe side, you should keep yourself and your loved ones away from illnesses like common cold, flu, pneumonia and more to ensure a fun-filled winter.

As winter sets in, it is not uncommon that atleast one in each household catches cold and flu. It is often believed by many people across the world that cold and flu occur because of exposure to cold food and cold weather. Not many know that this is a myth. Cold and flu are caused by attack of virus that are usually present during the months. The winter air is dry which makes the nasal passages even drier. This allows viruses to favourably replicate inside the nasal passages. Viruses that are responsible for cold and flu are more stable in cold air because of low humidity. Hence, they remain for a longer period. It is not just common cold that winter is host to, rather influenza, strep throat, bronchiolitis, pneumonia and more can knock you off your gear.

To treat influenza or more commonly called ‘flu’, one can get the flu shot. The best treatment for this disease is to drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest. Even though the antiviral medications are available, they only reduce the length of the illness by a day or two. So, the best way to prevent it is to get a flu shot.

Strep throat, which is different from sore throat is caused by bacterial infection. A strep throat can be very painful, much more than that of a sore throat. It is spread through sneezing and coughing and most commonly seen in school going children. Trouble in swallowing, swollen lymph nodes, headache and fever are some of the symptoms exhibited. While antibiotics help in eradicating the infection completely, drinking warm water can help ease the pain.

Pneumonia is the infection of lungs, which is caused by bacteria. One may experience cough, fever and suffer from breathing problems. People who suffer from long-term diseases like asthma, heart problems and cancer tend to be more prone to pneumonia. It can be treated at home though in extreme cases, it might require hospitalization.

Symptoms of experiencing cold for several days with high fever and high fever could be the signs of pneumonia getting worse. In such instances, to be on the safe side, one can consult a doctor online.

Bronchiolitis is a common respiratory infection. It mostly affects children below the age of two. A virus causes inflammation of the airway branches in the lungs, which leads to the clogging of airways, thus making it hard to breathe. Bronchiolitis is accompanied by low-grade fevers, cough, chest congestion, wheezing and nasal congestion. During this time, it’s very important to drink lots of water and take enough rest for quick recovery.

So, while you enjoy your winters, do take these precautions to ensure you keep yourself healthy.

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