What Are the Most Common Winter Illnesses?

Posted by on December 15, 2017

winter illnesses

The season has arrived–when common winter illnesses rear their heads.

From the dreaded flu virus to nagging allergies to the common cold, no office or household is immune. 

If you’re concerned about sickness this winter, it’s important to steel yourself against the most common viruses and illnesses.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common winter illnesses.

Seasonal Influenza

 The influenza virus, commonly known as “the flu”, peaks during the winter months. This is because the virus is more stable in colder temperatures.

When the air is cold and dry, the flu virus lasts longer in the atmosphere. It also become easier to transmit from person to person. 

Easy ways to fight the flu? Get your flu shot, frequently wash your hands and disinfect your home, workspace or other common areas often.

The Common Cold

Unlike the flu, the common cold is not easier to spread during the winter months.

However, people spend more time inside during the winter. This creates more opportunities to pick up the cold germs that are already there.

There are over 1 billion common colds reported in the United States each year–so your chances of catching one are pretty high.

Some of the easiest ways to steel yourself against common cold germs?

Wash your hands often and disinfect your workspace frequently. Also, always use hand sanitizers that are at least 60% alcohol. Otherwise, they won’t kill those pesky cold germs.  

Norovirus

Norovirus, also known as “winter vomiting bug”, is a highly contagious virus. The virus can be transmitted from person to person easily. It can also be contracted from eating contaminated food or touching a contaminated surface.

The virus causes a person’s intestines and stomach to become inflamed. This causes stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

For individuals with weakened immune systems or other diseases, contracting the norovirus can be dangerous. It may require an immediate visit to the hospital or a doctor’s office.

Some of the risk factors for contracting norovirus? If you work in a childcare center or nursing home, you may be more susceptible. Another risk factor is living in close quarters with several people. 

You can also catch it by eating in restaurants that have unsanitary conditions. Reduce your risk by washing your hands thoroughly. Additionally, avoid suspicious restaurants or food and stay clear of high-risk locations. 

Are you worried about catching the flu or another seasonal illness?

It’s important to get your flu vaccination as soon as possible. This will reduce your and your family’s risk of contracting the virus.

Avoid the nasal spray flu vaccine–only injectable flu vaccine shots are approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Physicians Urgent Care is one of middle Tennessee’s leading providers of urgent care services. We are proud to provide flu vaccinations and treatment for winter illnesses like the common cold.

Visit one of our locations or contact us today to learn more.