Common Illnesses to Watch For This Winter

Winter is in full force, with snow and sub-zero temperatures on the horizon, meaning you will be spending more time in the warmth of the indoors. However, spending more time indoors also means you will be spending more time in close proximity to others, allowing germs to quickly spread from person to person. While illness can be prevented by washing your hands throughout the day and disinfecting surfaces throughout your home and office, some viruses can persevere and spread throughout your workplace and family. These diseases have specific symptoms, which can help you figure out what to look for. The following are common everywhere and can

Influenza

The flu is a highly contagious virus that affects nearly one-fifth of the United States population between October and May each year. Signs include fever, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. Due to its infectious nature, symptoms may appear suddenly and last for about one week. More serious cases can last up to 14 days, with the height of contagion lasting about one week after you initially show indications of being sick. The flu can be treated with antibiotics and prevented by getting vaccinated at your local AFC Urgent Care Center. The vaccination does not require an appointment and is covered under most insurance providers.

Cold Virus

The common cold affects most adults between 2-3 times each year and has an even higher occurrence in children, who may not be able to follow proper hand washing and hygiene habits throughout the day. While the virus can strike at any point throughout the year, cases are more common throughout the winter due to its high level of contagion. While a cold is usually limited to a runny nose, sneezing, headache, and congestion, there is still a risk for the virus to develop into something more serious, including pneumonia.

Norovirus

Often confused with a strain of the flu, norovirus is spread through food and water, usually prepared on contaminated surfaces. Norovirus is spread quickly in crowded locations such as schools and hotels. Since the virus is often spread through food, it can begin at a restaurant and make its way through the general public. Norovirus is highly contagious and shares many traits with the flu, including the speed in which symptoms appear. Vomiting and diarrhea are key indicators that a patient has come into contact with the norovirus, and dehydration is a major concern to patients. More physical signs include intense cramps and aches throughout the body. The disease typically lasts up to three days. Since more people are spending time inside, time may be sparse to completely disinfect surfaces used for food preparation.
If you are feeling ill, don’t wait for it to just clear up. Visit an AFC Urgent Care Center to undergo a professional diagnosis by a doctor and receive effective treatment.