Categories: General Health

Why do people get sick with changing seasons?

According to medical research, most grown-ups suffer from cold 2-4 times and children 5-7 times every year. This roughly coincides with the number of times season changes within a year too. The correlation exists for a reason.

Every time we observe a change in the season, the count of allergens in the environment also spikes up to nearly 200 viruses in the air.

These viruses are mostly responsible for getting people under the weather. The most common symptoms of a cold that can be observed are:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Scratchy or sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Mucus draining from your nose into your throat
  • High fever or muscle aches

Why the change of season causes cold?

People mostly feel a little under the weather whenever the seasons change. The shift in temperatures provides an apt condition for different groups of viruses to flourish, which then spread contagious diseases.

  • The most common of the virus is Human Rhinovirus (HRV) that causes up to 40 percent of all colds. They flourish in cooler weather, such as in spring and winter.
  • In summers, people with seasonal allergies get a runny nose and itchy eyes when they’re near pollen, mould, or grass. Their immune system gets busy reacting to these allergens, leaving them more vulnerable to viral attacks.
  • The Influenza virus causes flu that divides and spreads mostly when the air is cold and dry like in winters.

But with some minor precautions & lifestyle changes, it is possible for you to dodge seasonal sickness.

Get a flu shot

There are around 100 known strains of rhinovirus, meaning that a vaccine cannot be made. As the viruses are constantly changing from one flu season to the next, it is advisable that you get a flu shot for protection.

Practice good hygiene

Rhinoviruses survive for 3 hours outside the body, and can sometimes live for up to 48 hours on touchable surfaces like doorknobs or light switches. It is thus important to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face to keep off potential risks of catching the infection.

Exercise

People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of getting a viral infection as it boosts your immune system.

Eat well and take proper rest

Eating a well-balanced diet, getting plenty of sleep, and keeping stress under control can help you deal with seasonal sickness better.

Dr. Nilanjan Patranabis, Consultant – General Medicine, Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Howrah

Narayana Health

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