The start of 2019 is already over. Now may be the perfect time to start thinking about the best ways to prevent seasonal illnesses for the upcoming months.
Seasonal illnesses are a constant healthcare concern throughout the year as influenza begins to peak at the start of the year, while allergies develop in the later months.
It is important to understand that seasonal illnesses are a year-round health concern. A seasonal illness can lead to lower productivity, uncomfortable symptoms, and even significant healthcare risks for individuals with chronic conditions.
So what are some key ways to plan and prevent seasonal illness? How can you apply them for 2019?
Winter: Common cold and flu prevention tips
In wintertime, influenza, the common cold, and other types of microbial diseases become increasingly viral. A person’s likelihood of catching a seasonal disease increases during winter since people are more likely to stay indoors, share public spaces, and spread long-lasting diseases.
To prevent the common cold, the flu, and other diseases make sure to first practice good hygiene throughout the winter. Wash your hands regularly, use hand sanitizer after touching public spaces, and limit any sharing of clothing or other potentially contaminated objects.
Remember: the most effective way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu shot as soon as possible.
Spring: Pollen and airborne allergen prevention
After the cold snap of the winter, many airborne allergens such as pollen begin to make the rounds for springtime. Additionally, springtime allergens like pollen can lead to triggers for people with asthma and increase respiratory irritations.
Make sure to keep doors and windows closed frequently in order to limit contact with allergens in your home. Regularly clean out any air filters in your home and vacuum in your home to also prevent contact with allergens.
If you start suffering from spring allergy symptoms like sneezing, coughing, or throat irritation, then make sure to visit a nearby urgent care center for fast and immediate treatment.
Summer: Lyme disease, sunburn, and skin irritation prevention
During the summer, the sun starts to shine and you go outside a lot more than usual. However, the summer season can lead to increased rates of Lyme disease, sunburn, and other types of skin irritation from dehydration.
During summer, ticks and other carriers of Lyme disease are more common in outdoor areas including the woods and campsites, which can potentially lead to Lyme disease if bitten. Prevent Lyme disease by avoiding any wooded areas when possible, use insect repellent when near a potentially tick-infested area, and cover your body as much as possible near grassy or wooded areas.
Additionally, summer can lead to skin irritation and sunburn due to overexposure of UV rays from intense sunlight. Make sure to wear your sunscreen, a hat, and drink plenty of water when enjoying the rays!
Fall: Flu season (again), hay fever, asthma
The fall is when seasonal illnesses begin to spread rapidly across communities. The flu season usually starts in the fall and expands into winter. But there are other types of fall-specific illnesses including mold, allergies, and other allergenic triggers in the air.
Make sure to get that flu shot ASAP so you don’t have to worry about the flu in the winter. It also helps to make sure that you are taking similar hygienic precautions as mentioned above (see winter section) such as routine hand-washing and limiting contact with potentially infected surfaces!