What are the common winter diseases?

by Radwa El Samahy

As festive and delightful as winter can be, it’s also usually the best opportunity for most of us to stay cooped up inside, where it’s warm and cozy. Surprisingly, staying inside for long periods of time could make you more vulnerable to viruses and infections. 

“We catch more illnesses in winter because of cold weather. WRONG!
In fact, it’s because we tend to spend more time inside with other people!”

The way to protect yourself against winter diseases is not by wearing more layers, there are many other ways to protect yourself and close ones. But first, let’s see what are some of the most common winter diseases to look out for this season. 

  • The Common Cold Vs The Flu 

Many of us confuse the common cold with seasonal influenza. While they are both contagious respiratory illnesses, they are actually caused by different viruses. 

The flu is caused by influenza viruses only, whereas the common cold is caused by a variety of viruses, such rhinoviruses, which is the most common viral infectious agent in humans and is the leading cause of the common cold. 

It might be a bit difficult, however, to tell the difference between both based on the symptoms alone as the cold and flu share many symptoms. Here are some of the most distinctive aspects to help you differentiate between both.


Source: CDC
  • Sinusitis

Sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses, which are four paired spaces in the head, connected by narrow channels. The sinuses’ job is to make thin mucus that drain out the channels of the nose to keep it clean and free of bacteria. During winter, as the weather drops and the wind gets stronger, these sinuses become filled with air and get blocked and filled with fluid. When this happens, bacteria starts to grow causing an infection. 

With symptoms very similar to the common cold, sinusitis is usually triggered by a cold, allergies or immune system disorders. This one, however, is not contagious at all, as it  forms inside the nose and not through an outside infection.

Source: CDC

  • Covid19

Coronavirus (Covid19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, spreading from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak or breathe. 

Compared with the Flu, Covid19 spreads more easily and can cause more severe illness in some people as it takes longer to show symptoms and may be contagious for longer periods of time. 

You cannot really tell the difference between flu and COVID-19 by the symptoms alone as they have some of the same signs and symptoms.  Specific testing is needed to tell what the illness is and to confirm a diagnosis. 

“Vitamin C prevents sickness. WRONG!
Vitamin C strengthens your immunity to decrease the overall effect and duration of an infection”

As we’ve established, staying indoors does not protect you from catching an infection. In order to protect yourself, all you need to do is keep doing your daily chores and activities but in a more cautious manner. 

Starting with getting the needed vaccinations, frequent hand washing, regular exercise, and making sure your body gets the protein, vitamins and minerals it needs. 

And finally, make sure you get prepared and ready for this season with the right equipment to keep your health in check, instead of waiting till the last minute. 

Here is Olife’s recommended checklist for you to prepare your home for the season: 

  • Face masks 
  • Nebulizer 
  • Thermometer 
  • Pulse Oximeter 
  • Sanitizers 

  • Most winter diseases may not be 100% stoppable, but following a healthy hygienic lifestyle will most definitely help decrease the risk of getting infected. 

    Stay safe.. Stay healthy. 

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