Health Issues From Winter Weather

Fall and winter months bring in the cooler weather, the colors of the leaves on trees change from green to autumn colors when hibernating into their winter beauty. While nature is constantly changing, so are our bodies. During the cooler months, we tend to open ourselves up for sickness. The decrease in light during this time might also be affecting your mood.

While illnesses are active year round, we are the most vulnerable to them during the fall and winter seasons. The common cold, sore throat, flu, norovirus and ear infections are the most common sicknesses during this time of year. It’s also easy for one illness to lead to another while you’re trying to fight off the first one.

More than 20 percent of the population will be impacted by the flu this year because it is easily spread through coughs, contaminated surfaces and sneezing. A common cold is spread similarly and more than 1 billion people have a cold each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the common stomach bug, the Norovirus, disturbs up to 21 million people each year and is highest in the winter months. Even ear infections are common and can appear quickly and are often caused from having a winter cold.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • More than 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized from flu-related complications each year, including 20,000 children younger than age 5.
  • Between 1976 and 2006, the estimated number of flu-related deaths every year ranged from about 3,000 to about 49,000.
  • In the 2013 – 2014 season, there were in the U.S. 35.4 million influenza-associated illnesses, 14.6 medically attended flu illnesses, and 314,000 flu hospitalizations.

Many Americans also experience Winter Blues which is attributed to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Some research indicates that this disorder if often based on geographic location and sun light exposure or lack thereof. Symptoms for the Winter Blues includes loss of energy, depression, extreme fatigue, increased appetite, weight gain and even suicidal thoughts. Millions of Americans suffer from this condition during the winter months. It’s not uncommon to feel blue during the winter months, but should also seek treatment.

Recognizing medical symptoms, being interested in health care options, and keeping up with healthcare trends are all part of the healthcare field. If you enjoy learning about health care issues and want to progress into a health care career, Waldorf can offer education solutions. Study Health Care Management at Waldorf College through an online degree with an Associate in Arts, Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Applied Science.

Author: Claire Stewart

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