Did you know summer colds can last up to two weeks? So, how can we avoid this and lessen our risk of catching a summer cold and flu? Peconic Bay Medical Center, one of eastern Long Island’s top hospitals, wants to share with you how to avoid colds and flu during the summer.
Tips to Reduce Cold and Flu Risk During Warm Weather
Washing hands after using the bathroom is a key weapon in the fight against cold and flu during the summer. This is because the enterovirus spreads germs in ways that differ from the harsher winter cold or flu which is more difficult to spread as it is spread by respiratory droplets that remain contagious for a while after someone coughs or sneezes. The summer cold or flu also can be spread by fecal matter. Whether by droplet or by fecal matter, the best thing to do is wash your hands thoroughly after you use the bathroom. This stops you from spreading germs and protects you from contaminated surfaces you may have touched. Here are some more tips:
- Air conditioning feels especially good on really hot days, don’t you agree? But, moving between the stifling hot outdoors to an air conditioned space can make you more susceptible to cold and flu in the summer. Ronald Eccles, director of the Common Cold Center at the University of Cardiff in Wales, in the Wall Street Journal says,”The chilling lowers the defenses in the nose and throat by causing constriction of the blood vessels. If a virus is already present, this reduces our immunity."
- Despite what you have heard, exercise is not a good way to deal with a summer cold. In fact, if you took a break in your exercise routine during the winter, get back into your routine slowly since the enteroviruses are the only viruses known where strenuous exercise is associated with coming down with an infection.
- According to an article from McLane Children’s Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas, tells us that symptoms of the summer enterovirus include:
- Myalgia (muscle or body aches)
- Sore throat
- GI issues such as diarrhea
- Non-specific viral rashes
When Should You Seek Medical Attention?
Both adults and kids manage with nothing more than ibuprofen and bed rest, but you should go to a physician or the Peconic Bay Medical Center Emergency Department if your regular physician is not available when any of the following occur:
- If a fever has gone on more than five to seven days
- If you or your child is having trouble breathing
- If your child has a change in consciousness
- If there’s compromised hydration – you or your child is not drinking well or urinating well.
Remember, hand washing is the key to prevention of acquiring an enterovirus during warm weather months. If you feel like you are coming down with a summer cold, make an appointment with the physicians at Peconic Bay Medical Center today!