It sure seems like it! While there isn’t tons of conclusive evidence that explain why viruses tend to affect more people during the winter months, what we do know is that this idea is certainly more accurate than not.
Our AFC Urgent Care Ballantyne team provides further explanation on viruses and how they are affected by winter temperature below, so keep reading!
Why Do Viruses Get Worse in the Winter?
Temperature, among other factors, plays the most important role. While cold weather does not cause more viruses, it does have an impact on our bodies’ ability to protect us against viruses and illnesses.
Viruses normally enter our bodies through the mouth or nose (where we breathe in respiratory particles), and our nasal passages usually have a strong line of defense in place to prevent these particles from hurting us. However, cold weather hinders our ability to remove mucus from our noses, allowing the virus to infiltrate the body. Viruses become more widespread throughout the winter months for a variety of reasons, which we’ve detailed below.
Additional Reasons for Winter Viruses
- More time spent indoors. People spend more time indoors during the winter with the windows shut, making them more likely to breathe the same air as someone who is contagious.
- Colder, drier climates. The flu and COVID-19 viruses may survive better in colder, drier climates, and therefore will be able to infect more people.
- Shorter days and less sunlight. When we get less sunlight, we get less vitamin D and melatonin, which are both key in fighting off viruses and illnesses.
How Can I Stay Healthy During the Winter?
Getting vaccinated against viruses is the greatest approach to combat them if you can. The flu and COVID-19 are the two illnesses that are currently posing the biggest threat, so get vaccinated if you haven’t already.
Below are some additional ways you might improve your chances of remaining healthy.
Additional Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter
- Put on 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 those who are sick.
Feeling less than your best? Don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Ballantyne center today!