Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cold Season is Here!

Keep yourself healthy and flu free with some facts and tips from the Natural Health Advisory.

With winter just around the corner, catching a cold is getting easier and easier. The drop in humidity that comes with winter’s chilly weather helps respiratory viruses and infections spread faster. The most common virus is influenza. Influenza is “more stable in cool, dry air,” and goes hand in hand with winter weather. [Respir Med, 2009 Mar:103(3):456-62.] A temperature drop and humidity drop at the same time creates higher chance of the influenza virus spreading.

Low humidity makes our throats dryer and more susceptible to viruses like influenza that are attracted to the respiratory tract.  A drop in humidity also means that viruses can travel faster. In low humidity weather, the water droplets in the air are smaller and therefore can move around faster, infecting more people more easily. In high humidity, water droplets are larger and therefore heavier, resulting in slower movement and less spread of the virus.

A great tip to make cold season less a bit easier is to get a humidifier. Humidifiers can decrease the chances of viruses and infections spreading by making the water in the air heavier and slower. Natural Health Advisory says that having a humidifier set around 60% humidity is healthy but setting it too high can cause mold to grow. Be sure to check around your home when you have a humidifier to make sure that there isn’t any mold growth, as mold can be detrimental to your health.

Telling your kids to recommend to their teacher to get a humidifier for school can be beneficial as colds are often spread at school. Having a humidifier at school can help decrease the risk of catching a bug in the classroom.

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