5 Common Illnesses to Watch Out for as Summer Ends

August 29, 2023

Once summer is over, students are usually back to their educational routine. Some workplaces also organize vacations during summer, while they resume duties in early fall. As much as fall is characterized by heightened productivity, it’s quite unfortunate that many people fall sick during this period. This article will discuss why illness is usually rampant during fall, including the common diseases to watch out for.

Why Illnesses Begin to Spread in Early Fall

Foremost, the weather becomes cooler in the fall, so people tend to spend more time indoors close to each other. This can facilitate the transmission of respiratory illnesses, as viruses spread more easily in indoor environments where ventilation may be limited. Another reason is the reduced sunlight exposure. Meanwhile, vitamin D, often called the "sunshine vitamin," plays a role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Reduced sunlight and lower vitamin D levels could weaken the body's immune response to infections.

Common Fall Illnesses & Symptoms 

There are five common fall illnesses, which are further highlighted below. Knowing the symptoms is also important, as it can help address the situation as early as possible.

1. Common Cold

The common cold is a viral infection primarily caused by rhinoviruses. Symptoms include:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Mild fatigue
  • Watery eyes

2. Influenza (Flu)

Influenza, or the flu, is a highly contagious viral respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses. Symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Body aches and muscle pain
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Headache
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Chills

3. Allergies

Fall allergies, often triggered by pollen from ragweed and other plants, can cause a range of symptoms, including:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Irritated throat
  • Dark circles under the eyes

4. Strep Throat

Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus bacteria. It is common among school-age children. Symptoms include:

  • Sudden onset of severe sore throat
  • Painful or difficult swallowing
  • Fever
  • Red and swollen tonsils, often with white patches
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

5. Mononucleosis (Mono)

Mononucleosis, often called "mono," is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and is commonly spread through close contact. Symptoms include:

  • Severe fatigue
  • Sore throat 
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Enlarged spleen or liver

Getting Preventive Care & Treatment at Urgent Care

If you're experiencing symptoms that concern you, especially severe or persistent, it's recommended to seek medical advice from Urgent Care. You can be sure to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. You will receive recommendations on good hygiene, vaccination (e.g., a flu shot), and specific preventive measures that can help reduce the risk of spreading these illnesses.

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