Colder weather means an influx of germs and more occurrences of illness. Everybody cringes when they hear on the news that the flu has hit their local area and many people start to panic at the thought of the unwanted symptoms that come along with this dangerous virus like fever, body aches, chills, headaches, sore throat, stuffy nose and much more. Everyone can contract the flu and those people who have under-developed or compromised immune systems can be in a dangerous predicament if they fall ill during flu season. This can include infants, small children, the elderly, people with chronic health conditions and more.
The influenza virus is more prevalent in the colder months in the United States and while many people assume it’s just because of the kids being back to school and the increase in germs, there is an actual science behind why the flu thrives so well in the cold weather. January and February is usually when the U.S. will see the most cases of the flu and this is because of the cold and dry weather conditions that are present. Entire schools have shut down during these months because of the flu spreading like wildfire in their area and this isn’t something you will usually hear about in the summer months.
How It Survives And Thrives
When the weather and environment provides cold and dry conditions, the flu virus is less likely the die. Rather, it will multiply and spread very rapidly. The winter is when this occurs and no matter how much you wash your hands and cover your mouth, the virus is very prevalent and can be easily contracted. Once a few cases of the flu presents itself in a school or office, many others will usually get the illness and it will continue to be passed around until the weather begins to break and become more warm and more humid. In many instances, schools and offices will actually ask people not to come in so that the germs can get under control more and proper cleaning can take place.
The Flu’s Place In History
Reports of the flu come from as far back as 1918. People have been suffering from the flu likely even before this, but people were unaware what these symptoms were associated with. When the flu would hit a pandemic state, it would wipe out large communities due to lack of knowledge and lack of developed medical care. Doctors were not able to serve the community like they do today and there wasn’t treatment for the flu. If you were part of a high risk bracket due to health concerns, you were in a dangerous spot. People couldn’t be treated for flu or dehydration like they are today.
In Other Parts Of The World
In the United States we experience winter differently than in other parts of the world. Our flu season typically presents itself around January and February because this is when it is most cold and most dry. In other countries this is not the case. Some places experience flu season in May or June. Because of our hot and humid weather conditions during this point of the year, we don’t experience many cases of the flu and if there are any, they cannot spread as easily as in the winter months. Also, we tend to get healthy doses of vitamin D throughout the summer when we are in the sun more often. When our winters decrease our Vitamin D intake, this can put our immune system at a great disadvantage.
Our understanding of the flu virus and how it thrives has led to better preventing the flu. Eating healthy, getting enough rest, staying active, utilizing supplements if need be and utilizing the flu shot are all great ways to prevent the flu from spreading in your family.