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Avoid Colds Effectively: Five simple actions that will keep you healthy during the winter

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Cold is not uncommon or bad in winter. It’s still annoying and can usually be avoided with a few tricks.

At first the throat hurts, then breathing becomes difficult and finally a cough comes. These different stages of illness are very typical of the common cold. In the winter, almost everyone is affected and has to rest in bed for a few days. If you want to avoid catching a cold as much as possible, you should get used to some routines in daily life that reduce the risk of infection.

Avoid Colds Effectively: Five simple actions that will keep you healthy during the winter

If you have a cold, stay in bed.

© Xavier Lorenzo / Imago

A person who catches a cold or the flu in the winter usually cannot strictly avoid bed rest. However, it is important to know if it is a cold, the flu, or even a corona infection. Symptoms tell you something about it:

  • Cold: If the cold is very severe, experts also talk about a flu-like infection. It is caused by various cold viruses that cause symptoms such as headache, sore throat, runny nose, and fever.
  • Influenza: Unlike the common cold, influenza viruses are the cause of the flu. Then the above symptoms are more severe and also associate you with sleeping with body aches and sometimes earaches. In this case, you should consult a doctor to avoid health complications.
  • Corona: Even with corona infection, the symptoms are sometimes very similar to those of the flu. In addition, there is sometimes a loss of smell, a loss of taste, and a cough that is noticeably stronger than the flu. A rapid corona test usually provides clarity about infection and reduces the risk of infecting others.

In order not to go so far and fight a cold, it is worth introducing some useful hygiene measures into everyday life.

Don’t miss a thing: You can find everything related to health in the regular newsletter from our partner 24vita.de.

Fight the cold effectively: Don’t forget to wash your hands

Some basic hygiene measures are becoming more common in society, especially since the Corona pandemic. Thorough hand washing is not only useful after each visit to the toilet, but also as the first official act after returning home or before eating. You should plan 20 to 30 seconds for each hand wash and also wash the tips of the fingers as well as the backs of the hands and the spaces between the fingers. You should refrain from shaking hands during the winter. This reduces the possibility of picking up bacteria and viruses from other people’s unwashed hands.

Humans are made up of 80 percent water. Therefore, it is important to drink water, juice or tea regularly and sufficiently, even in winter. On the one hand, all body functions can only run smoothly with enough fluid, on the other hand, you support your body in excreting harmful viruses and bacteria more quickly.

Once the weather turns inclement, most people turn on their heaters. However, as a general rule, this leads not only to warm rooms but also to very dry rooms. This is not ideal for the mucous membranes of the nose, which also become dry and more vulnerable to viruses and bacteria. On the other hand, it helps to ventilate regularly and replace the dry heating air with moist winter air. Indoor plants and wet towels over the heater also affect humidity.

Avoid Cold Effectively: Enjoy sauna sessions and hardening at the same time

Hot sauna sessions not only help with colds, but also against colds. Anyone who then undergoes a contrast shower, especially pushes the immune system. All this increases blood flow, stimulates blood circulation and strengthens the body. However, only healthy people should visit the sauna.

These viruses and bacteria make us sick

At the end of 2019, Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus was reported for the first time. The disease was first diagnosed only in China, and the Covid-19 disease caused by the coronavirus has spread all over the world. The pandemic claimed nearly 1,900,000 lives worldwide in 2020. The image above shows a human cell (green) infected with the coronavirus (yellow). © Niaid / dpa
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): The virus causes the immunodeficiency virus (AIDS).  Almost 20 years after its discovery, AIDS is the most devastating infectious disease that has challenged humanity since the epidemic of the fourteenth century.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): The virus causes the immunodeficiency virus (AIDS). Almost 20 years after its discovery, AIDS is the most devastating infectious disease that has challenged humanity since the epidemic of the fourteenth century. © dpa
Plague pathogen Yersinia pestis: The infectious disease was first discovered in the sixth century in the Mediterranean region.  The bacterium was discovered in 1894. Today, if the disease is diagnosed early, the chances of treatment with antibiotics are high.
Plague pathogen Yersinia pestis: The infectious disease was first discovered in the sixth century in the Mediterranean region. The bacterium was discovered in 1894. Today, if the disease is diagnosed early, the chances of treatment with antibiotics are high. © dpa
Ebola virus: The virus causes fever with internal bleeding.  The disease is fatal in up to 90 percent of cases.  Scientists are working hard on a vaccine.
Ebola virus: The virus causes fever with internal bleeding. The disease is fatal in up to 90 percent of cases. Scientists are working hard on a vaccine. © dpa
influenza virus
Influenza virus: antigens (the yellow and blue antennae) sit on a double layer of lipids that wrap around the genetic material inside. By mixing different types of viruses, new genetic material and therefore also antigens are created. © dpa
Herpes virus: Herpes simplex viruses spread all over the world. After initial infection, the virus remains dormant in the organism for life.
Herpes virus: Herpes simplex viruses spread all over the world. After initial infection, the virus remains dormant in the organism for life. © dpa
human rhinovirus 16 (HRV16)
Human influenza virus 16 (HRV16): The common cold is spread worldwide by rhinoviruses. © dpa
1976 Swine Flu Virus: The classic swine flu is an influenza A virus of the H1N1 subtype, which was first isolated in 1930. The three subtypes H1N2, H3N2, and H3N1 are also important.
1976 Swine Flu Virus: The classic swine flu is an influenza A virus of the H1N1 subtype, which was first isolated in 1930. The three subtypes H1N2, H3N2, and H3N1 are also important. © dpa
Swine flu virus under a transmission electron microscope: There was an outbreak of swine flu virus in Mexico in 2009. This is a mutated swine flu virus of the H1N1 subtype, which, unlike the usual, can also be transmitted from person to person.
Swine flu virus under a transmission electron microscope: There was an outbreak of swine flu virus in Mexico in 2009. This is a mutated swine flu virus of the H1N1 subtype, which, unlike the usual, can also be transmitted from person to person. © dpa
Spanish Flu Virus: The Spanish Flu (1918) is considered the worst influenza pandemic ever. Spanish flu is the H1N1 strain of the virus, which particularly affects young people. Experts estimate the number of victims at between 40 and 50 million.
Spanish Flu Virus: The Spanish Flu (1918) is considered the worst influenza pandemic ever. Spanish flu is the H1N1 strain of the virus, which particularly affects young people. Experts estimate the number of victims at between 40 and 50 million. © dpa
Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis)
Mycobacterium tuberculosis: The disease, also known as consumption, is one of the most dangerous infectious diseases in the world, although it is now considered curable. © dpa
Avian influenza A: outline of the influenza A virus (computer view from January 2006). The aggressive avian influenza virus of the H5N1 subtype belongs to the group of influenza A viruses, as are many human influenza viruses. The virus is spherical, its diameter does not exceed 0.1 part of a millimeter. Inside there is room for just a few proteins and genetic material.
Avian influenza A: outline of the influenza A virus (computer view from January 2006). The aggressive avian influenza virus of the H5N1 subtype belongs to the group of influenza A viruses, as are many human influenza viruses. The virus is spherical, its diameter does not exceed 0.1 part of a millimeter. Inside there is room for just a few proteins and genetic material. © dpa

In winter it can be one more candy bar, because the regular sucking of the candy stimulates saliva flow. This in turn builds up antibodies that help fight off cold bacteria and viruses.

If you do get caught, diapers are recommended if you have a fever, for example. To do this, fill a bucket with lukewarm water and dip clean cotton towels into it. Then wrap them around your calves. Once it’s warm, you can knit new rolls. This method lowers the fever.

This article only contains general information on the relevant health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. It does not in any way replace a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editors are not permitted to answer individual questions about clinical images.

List of bases: © Xavier Lorenzo / Imago

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