CAN THE WEATHER CAUSE THE FLU? YES AND NO

Flu-symptoms-smallI’ve only had the flu a few times in my life. It’s not fun. As everyone knows who has had it. Yet, I’ve always been curious if the weather actually causes the flu. The flu is usually more widespread during the winter. As anyone who has worked at a school or “germ factory” knows if it’s a bad year you can be teaching to like 3 kids because it has wiped out the entire class. Yet, you can get it in the summer just as easily. Since it’s spread from person to person through contact as close as 6 feet apart.  And according to research, the flu virus has an extra coating to protect it from the elements in the winter. It’s not because of the cold.

In the summer, the virus is around but is less potent and doesn’t have that extra coating.  It also most often falls to the ground as it is being transferred from person to person. The humidity makes the air denser.

So, the cold weather helps contribute to more cases of the flu, but does it directly cause it? That answer is a bit more muddled.  The air is dryer.  This helps carry the virus further.  It can weaken our defenses if it’s too cold, but if we do things to build our immunities like better sleep, Vitamins C and D; clean eating places, and more exercise to it then it acts as a deterrent to the virus if it’s in our system. Also, washing our hands a lot is a good thing to do often! We are in kind of control not to get it if we do some common things to deter it.  Bundling up in 5,000 layers protects us from the cold against our exposed skin, but it won’t prevent the acquiring of the virus. We can get it as easily in the spring, summer, or fall.

In conclusion, the weather can contribute to getting the flu, but it’s not the main agent in the process of getting it.

Oh, and get a flu shot.

 

 

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