Why Do Viruses Become More Contagious in the Winter?

February 15, 2022

Why Do Viruses Become More Contagious in the Winter?

It’s safe to assume you’re aware that the winter months are notorious for bringing a slew of viruses along with them. In the past, the flu has been the thing that most of us focused our time and attention on avoiding, but with the prevalence of COVID-19, things have certainly changed.

According to experts, COVID-19 will likely become seasonal, much like the flu. But, why? Continue reading for some helpful answers from our AFC Urgent Care Mooresville team.

What Causes a Surge in Virus Infections During the Winter?

Temperature, among other factors, plays the most important role. While cold weather does not cause more viruses, it does have an impact on our bodies’ ability to protect us against viruses and illnesses.

Viruses normally enter our bodies through the mouth or nose, and our nasal passages usually have a strong line of defense in place to prevent these particles from hurting us. However, cold weather hinders our ability to remove mucus from our noses, allowing the virus to infiltrate the body. Viruses become more widespread throughout the winter months for a variety of reasons, which we’ve detailed below.

Additional Reasons for Winter Viruses

  • Lower humidity. Lower humidity has been shown to increase a virus’s ability to transmit to others, likely due to the sun’s weakened UV power, which is caused by the earth’s rotation and tilt.
  • More time spent indoors. Viruses have an easier time spread in enclosed spaces.
  • Colder, drier air. The flu and COVID-19 may survive better in colder, drier climates, and therefore will be able to infect more people.
  • Shorter days and less sunlight. When we get less sunlight, we get less vitamin D and melatonin, which are both key in fighting off viruses and illnesses.

How Can I Protect Myself From Viruses?

Getting vaccinated is the greatest approach to combat viruses. The flu and COVID-19 are the two illnesses that are currently posing the biggest threat, so please consider getting vaccinated if you haven’t already!

Below are some additional ways you might improve your chances of remaining healthy.

Additional Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter

  • Wear a mask. Masks are a simple way to protect yourself and others from the virus by preventing respiratory droplets from spreading.
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Frequent handwashing helps protect against a variety of illnesses, including the flu and COVID-19.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs are less likely to enter your body if you keep your hands away from your face.
  • Avoid people who are sick.
  • Don’t share personal items.

Feeling rough? We’re here for you now and always, so don’t hesitate to stop by our AFC Urgent Care Mooresville center today!

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