Why Is There an Uptick of Virus Cases During the Winter Months?

Does it seem like many more people get sick with viruses during the winter? If this is a trend you’ve noticed, it’s not a coincidence. According to the CDC, the flu and other viruses reach their peak between December and February every year.

Read on as our AFC Urgent Care Hixson team explains why this is the case!

Does Cold Weather Have an Impact on Viral Activity?

Yes, it does. While you can’t actually catch a virus from cold weather itself, lower temperatures make for a more habitable environment for illnesses like the flu and COVID-19. In fact, according to experts, both the flu and COVID-19 are enveloped viruses, which means that they have an outer fatty or lipid membrane that maintains the structural integrity of the virus and allows it to replicate and initiate new infections.

Cold temperatures allow this membrane to solidify, which makes it easier for the virus to survive and move from person to person. We’ve listed a few other reasons the cold weather can cause more viral infections below.

Additional Causes of More Winter Viral Activity

How Can I Protect Myself from Viruses?

Getting vaccinated against viruses is the best approach to combat them. The flu and COVID-19 are the two illnesses that are currently posing the biggest threat, so get vaccinated if you haven’t already.

Below are some additional ways you can improve your chances of remaining healthy this winter.

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 those who are sick.

We hope you stay healthy this winter! If you begin to feel sick, we’re here for you, so don’t hesitate to visit our team at AFC Urgent Care Hixson today.