Sickness spreads more easily as cold weather hits Decatur County

Published 10:19 am Wednesday, November 12, 2014

In the wake of a stateside Ebola scare, cold and flu season has begun.
While the common cold never really goes away, flu season coincides with the colder months during fall and winter, with peaks in January and February.
Taking in ample fluids and nutrition and exercising regularly are the basic preventative measures for any illness, said Dr. Sydney Cochran.
“If you’re sneezing and coughing and think you may be infectious, stay away from crowds,” Cochran said.
Common colds and the flu are airborne and can be spread by sneezing and coughing or through contaminated surfaces, so practicing good hygiene is extremely important, Cochran said. Washing your hands and being aware of items that have been touched by a lot of people are important.
“If you have coughs or are sneezing, do your best to cover your face,” Cochran said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention insists that a flu vaccine, either by shot or nasal spray, is the best way to prevent the flu. Vaccinations can help protect those who may be more susceptible to illness such as senior citizens, people with chronic health conditions and young children.
Last flu season saw an increase in hospitalizations of young- and middle-aged adults with 61 percent of all flu-related hospitalizations occurring in adults 18-64, according to the CDC.
The H1N1 flu virus, commonly known as “swine flu,” caused an epidemic in 2009 and has been circulating every flu season since, but 2014 is the first season since 2009 that H1N1 has been so predominant in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Email newsletter signup