March 1, 2021


DR TEBOGO MOKAILA- common winter illnesses


The long nights of winter are upon us and as the season changes the incidence of some illnesses increase. We start to get exposed to extreme low temperatures and low humidity. Some health problems such as asthma, cold sores and sore throat are triggered or worsened by cold weather. Furthermore, people tend to be affected by more Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Norovirus, Influenza Virus, Cold Sores, Dry Skin, Painful joints, Cold hands and feet.  

It is imperative for one to know how to avoid and treat these common ailments. You can prevent colds by washing hands regularly and if you get a cold, in addition to medication, use disposable tissues instead of fabric handkerchief. It is also important to keep household items clean.

A sore throat is almost always caused by a viral infection. Try not to eat or drink anything that is too hot because this will further irritate your throat. The best way to prevent getting flu is to get a flu vaccine as flu can be a major killer in vulnerable people.

Norovirus is an extremely infectious stomach bug. Even though the infection is common in winter it can strike all year round. It causes vomiting and diarrhoea. When infected by thus virus it’s crucial to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

A range of weather related triggers can result in an asthmatic attack. Covering your mouth and nose with a scarf when you go out can minimise the risk of an attack in asthmatics. As we already know, prevention is better than cure. Eating healthy and staying active during winter can minimize your chances of getting sick. It is important to note that there is no cure for the above mentioned viral infections, it is best to prevent them and when the need arises seek medical attention for supportive treatment.

It is never safe to self-diagnose and treat, when you are under the weather this winter make sure you consult your GP for accurate diagnosis and proper management.

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