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United States
Health & Wellbeing

Winter Colds and Flu

As winter draws nearer, why are we more susceptible to colds and flu?

As winter draws in many people find they are more susceptible to colds and flu, and the colder months are known as ‘flu season’ in many countries. There are several theories as to why flu and colds may spread more readily in the colder months:

  • in cold weather, we may be physiologically more susceptible to infections
  • in winter people are more likely to stay in closed environments (with less fresh air), so infections are more easily spread among individuals
  • tiny particles from the coughs and sneezes of infected individuals can stay suspended in the air for much longer periods in wintertime than in summertime, owing to the decrease in temperature and air humidity.

Cold and Flu Symptoms

Colds and flu are caused by different viruses, but they share some of the same symptoms. Flu infections come on much more suddenly and are usually more severe than colds, though it can be difficult to tell the difference between a bad cold and a mild dose of flu.

Cold symptoms include:

  • sore throat
  • runny/blocked nose
  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • weakness
  • high temperature or fluctuating hot and cold

Colds can also cause aches and pains, earache, mild fever, tiredness and headaches.

Flu symptoms include:

  • sudden fever ( you may feel weak and very cold)
  • tiredness
  • aches and pains
  • sweating
  • chesty cough

Flu can also cause a runny nose and sneezing, though these are not defining symptoms


winter colds and flu

Cold and flu infections are commonly spread by tiny droplets of fluid in the air from the coughs/sneezes of an infected person, or via surfaces that have been touched by a person who has coughed or sneezed into their hands. You can reduce your chances of getting a cold or flu infection by ensuring you wash your hands regularly, minimize contact with infected individuals and clean shared surfaces such as door handles, telephone receivers, etc. If you get a cold or the flu, you can reduce the risks of spreading the infection by always coughing/sneezing into a tissue and then disposing of the tissue and washing your hands as soon possible. You should also wash your hands after touching your eyes or nose.

Flu vaccinations are still offered as a preventative but there are also serious concerns being raised throughout the world around dangers (side effects, constituent parts, efficacy and long-term immunity problems) so appropriate decisions need careful consideration.

What may Help

Colds and flu will usually ease over a week or so without medical intervention. Keeping rested, hydrated and avoiding alcohol will help. If symptoms become worse or do not ease after a week, please see your doctor. Consider supportive supplements like Oregano Oil.

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