You might be asking yourself, why do so many people have the flu?. Well, in case you were nailed down in your room for the last few weeks, you may have noticed: temperature levels have fallen, the sun is actually shining much less brightly, rainfalls are a lot more regular.
Wintertime is approaching, and the cold settles in.
If you have been isolated from humanity for a number of days, it is not likely that you have the flu virus. Still, assuming that you’ve interacted socially, perhaps it’s already moving through your physical body.
Obvious correlation: the fault is the cold, right?
Absolutely not, the flu virus is never triggered by the cold. Flu, just like colds, is actually a contagious condition triggered by a virus. Viruses get to our physical body through contagion. This contagion can easily take place both throughout summertime and even wintertime, even though, as we are going to see, in the winter season it really is far more probable.
The important point is that the cold in itself is never capable of creating any type of winter flu. Therefore, why is it that the wintertime period corresponds with the winter flu peaks?
From the conclusion of Oct till the appearance of the hottest springtime, in April, nations go into the flu virus period.
The steps taken by the authorities are really excessive, the typical precautions and even recommendations are sent out to the entire populace and the inoculation initiative is launched. The cold appears to play a fundamental part: people ought to wrap up and even never go out with soaked hair if you want to avoid a conceivable virus. And even so, the cold is not guaranteed.
Let’s point the finger at outright humidity
The reasons that the flu virus has been a lot more regular throughout the winter seasons than during the course of the warm and comfortable ones are still, to a large degree, a mystery with regard to experts devoted to exploring the problem. During the 5 yrs, the sector has been limited, still, the question has soared around the health care society for many years. What happens since we see way more instances regarding flu during December than in Aug, progressively and continually within all the regions of the world?
The last answer to the previous question is” humidity “. Or rather, the lack of it. This BBC article collects the opinions of both expert researchers and several studies in this field, and its conclusions are common: before any other factor, the correlation between low humidity during the winter months and rebound of cases of influenza (in many cases fatal) is almost perfect. In this study, some graphs can be observed: the increase in infections is inversely proportional to the decrease in absolute humidity.
In a simple way, the cold air of the winter months can transport less water vapor before reaching the dew point. Although through the fogged glass of our window it seems that the environment is more humid, well, it is not.
When the humidity is high, the particles that we secrete (sneezing, coughing) and that carry flu viruses are large and heavy, so they spend less time in the air. They fall to the ground. When the absolute humidity is low, they disperse, are lighter, and remain in the environment longer. More time.
Result: we are more inclined to get infected. In figures: when temperatures fall below 5º C and humidity drops below 20 %, the virus is more likely to remain in the environment. On the contrary, it is rare for contagions to occur in humidity conditions higher than 80%. It is not so much cold, but moisture, although both are related.
But do not go outside without a coat.
So, should we ignore the typical advice of our parents and grandparents? Not quite. The answer is not total, and there are other factors that can also influence the flu. Although the low temperatures are not going to cause us to cool, they can reduce our defenses. We spend less time in the sun and in vulnerable conditions. Consequently, when we are on the street, we have fewer defenses because our blood vessels in the nose and throat, which distribute the white cells that protect us, have contracted.
So yes, is it a bad idea to go out in the winter with wet hair?.
Another explanation commonly used to explain why we get more colds in winter than at other times of the year is that we spend more time indoors. Since it is colder, we seclude ourselves in the offices and in our houses and we use public transport more. However, spaces with air conditioning or with higher temperature and humidity usually act as a counterweight. In addition, we also go to work or use the bus in summer.
So, one more year, we have a series of limited tools to fight against contagion.
Antibiotics are not very helpful, and, as we saw here, it is best not to abuse them.
Here are some basic tips on why do so many people have the flu and how to control them.
Using air humidifiers can be beneficial, especially at school. The best prevention, in any case, is the vaccine, sources claim, however, we think the jury is still out on that one.
The flu virus mutates every year, and ideally, if you do not want to spread it, go to the nearest medical center to receive the appropriate vaccine. And so, try to avoid, one more year, from the happy flu.