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Illnesses that peak during the winter season

Illnesses that Peak During the Winter Season

From RSV to the flu, here are the illnesses that peak during the winter season and tips for keeping them at bay!

Why Does Sickness Peak During Winter?

  • Cold, dry air: Viruses that cause respiratory illnesses, such as the flu and the common cold, thrive in cold, dry air. This is because the cold air dries out the lining of the nose and throat, making it easier for viruses to enter the body.
  • Less sunlight: Sunlight helps to boost the immune system, so people tend to be more susceptible to illnesses during the winter when there is less sunlight.
  • Spending more time indoors: People tend to spend more time indoors during the winter, which can increase the risk of spreading viruses. This is especially true for holidays and family gatherings.
  • Holiday travel: Holiday travel can also increase the risk of viral spread, especially within heavily trafficked transit areas like airports. 
  • Unhealthy lifestyle: Especially during the holidays, it can be tempting to let health and wellness fall by the wayside. A common decrease in healthy activity usually results in a spike in common illnesses.

Illnesses That Peak During the Winter

  • Flu: The flu is a respiratory illness caused by a virus that attacks the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause a range of symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue. 

  • Common cold: The common cold is another respiratory illness that is caused by a virus. It is the most common type of illness in the United States, and it can occur at any time of year, but it is most common during the winter months.

  • Bronchiolitis: Bronchiolitis is a respiratory illness that affects the small airways in the lungs. It is most common in infants and young children. Symptoms of bronchiolitis include a cough, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

  • RSV: RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) is another respiratory illness that affects the lungs and breathing passages. It is most common in infants and young children, and it is most common during the winter months. Symptoms of RSV include a runny or stuffy nose, cough, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

  • Ear infections: Ear infections are especially common in children. This is because the cold weather can cause the Eustachian tubes to swell, which can trap fluid in the middle ear. Symptoms of an ear infection include ear pain, fever, and difficulty hearing.

  • Sinusitis: Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, which are air-filled cavities in the skull. It can be caused by a virus, bacteria, or allergies. Symptoms of sinusitis include facial pain, pressure, and fullness, as well as a runny or stuffy nose, cough, and fever.

Keep Your Little Ones Healthy This Winter

Here's how to prepare for RSV season!

Tips for Staying Healthy!

  • Get vaccinated: There are vaccines that protect against the flu and RSV. To schedule a vaccination appointment at Next Level, click here!

  • Wash your hands frequently: Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick: If you are sick, stay home from work or school to avoid spreading your illness to others.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces: This includes doorknobs, countertops, and light switches.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: Winter month illnesses are common difficult given the influx of unhealthy foods consumed during the holidays. Do your best to maintain a well-balanced diet and exercise routine. Your body will thank you!
  • Dress for the weather: Texas weather can especially be hit or miss. Check the forecast, dress appropriately, and make sure to bundle up during cool weather!

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