Preventing Infectious Diseases in Winter

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Preventing Infectious Diseases in Winter

Prevent Infectious Diseases – Winter is a time when the risk of contracting infectious diseases increases. This is because viruses and bacteria can survive longer at cold temperatures. In addition, more people gather in closed rooms, making it easier for germs to spread. Therefore, it is very important to be alert and prevent contracting infectious diseases during winter to stay healthy and avoid health complications.

Types of Infectious Diseases in Winter

During winter, some infectious diseases become more common. This includes flu, coughs and colds, ARI (Acute Respiratory Infection), influenza, and other respiratory illnesses.

Flu and influenza are caused by influenza viruses that infect the respiratory tract. Symptoms include high fever, chills, headache, fatigue, sore throat, and nasal congestion. Colds are caused by various respiratory viruses and cause symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, and coughing up phlegm.

ARI is any infection that attacks the respiratory tract, such as sinusitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, and bronchitis. ARI can be caused by bacteria or viruses. Symptoms depend on the type of infection but generally include coughing, excess mucus, shortness of breath, and fever.

Other respiratory illnesses that are common in winter include pneumonia, which is caused by viruses or bacteria and leads to lung infections. There are also infections such as SARS and MERS that sometimes appear in the winter.

How the disease is transmitted

Infectious diseases generally spread through contact or exposure to germs or viruses. Some common ways diseases are transmitted include:

  • Through the splash of saliva

This happens when people sneeze or cough, then spread germs or viruses through the air. Germs can survive in the air for a while before sticking to surfaces.

  • Physical contact 

Skin-to-skin touch can also transmit disease. Examples include shaking hands or hugging someone who is sick.

  • Touching contaminated objects

Surfaces and objects that have been splashed with a sick person’s saliva, blood, or body fluids can also be a source of infection. This includes doorknobs, tables, telephones, and other objects.

  • Through droplets 

Some diseases such as flu or COVID-19 spread through droplets that come out when coughing or sneezing. These droplets are relatively large and cannot remain in the air for long.

  • Through body fluids

Certain diseases such as hepatitis are also transmitted when infected body fluids enter another person’s body, for example through injection needles.

To prevent transmission, it is very important to keep your hands clean, avoid touching your face, and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Maintaining physical distance can also help prevent the spread of disease through saliva splashes or droplets.

How to Prevent Infectious Diseases in Winter

In winter, the best way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases is to maintain personal hygiene and health. Some prevention tips that can be done include:

Wash your hands regularly with soap, especially before eating, after leaving the house, after coughing/sneezing, and after defecating. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

  • Keeping home areas clean by cleaning frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, and kitchen utensils.
  • Avoid direct contact with people who are sick, for example by not shaking hands.
  • Exercise regularly to increase endurance. Exercise also helps improve breathing and blood circulation.
  • Eat balanced nutritious foods that contain vitamins and minerals, such as green vegetables, fruit, milk, and others. This is important to maintain body endurance.
  • Reduce presence in crowded public places to avoid exposure to germs and viruses.
  • Use a mask if you have to leave the house or be in a crowd. Make sure to change your mask regularly.
  • Increase air circulation in the room by opening windows.
  • Get enough rest, at least 7-8 hours a day. Lack of sleep can weaken the immune system.

By adopting a clean and healthy lifestyle, the risk of contracting infectious diseases can be reduced. Keep your body fit in winter.

How to Increase Immunity in Summer

To avoid infectious diseases in winter, it is very important to keep the body’s immune system strong. Some simple ways that can be done to increase the body’s immunity include:

  • Eat fruits and vegetables

Consume fruit and vegetables that contain important vitamins and minerals for immunity such as vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and selenium. Make sure to consume at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day.

  • Drink enough water

Drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day helps cleanse toxins in the body and prevent dehydration which can reduce the body’s resistance.

  • Enough rest

Lack of sleep can weaken the immune system. Try to sleep 7-8 hours per day for maximum results.

  • Reduce stress

Excessive stress can disrupt the immune system. Do relaxation such as yoga, meditation, or light exercise to reduce stress.

  • Exercise regularly

Physical activity can increase blood circulation and the production of natural antibodies in the body. Exercise regularly 30-60 minutes per day.

By maintaining the body’s immunity, the risk of contracting infectious diseases in winter can be reduced. Maintain personal health and hygiene to avoid disease.

how to maintain Health Protocols

Following health protocols is one effective way to avoid infectious diseases in winter. We need to implement multi-layered prevention: wearing masks, maintaining distance, avoiding physical contact, and washing hands.

  • Wearing a Mask

Face masks such as surgical masks or cloth masks can help prevent the spread of respiratory droplets containing viruses and germs. The mask must cover the nose, mouth and chin tightly. Use a 2-3 layer cloth mask or surgical mask for optimal protection.

  • Keeping Distance

Maintain a minimum distance of 1-2 meters from other people to reduce the risk of transmission via droplets. Avoid crowds and closed spaces with poor air circulation.

  • Avoid Physical Contact

Avoid physical contact such as shaking hands or hugging. Use non-contact greetings such as nodding your head or waving your hand.

  • Washing hands

Wash your hands with soap and running water as often as possible. Rub with soap for 20 seconds. If you don’t have water and soap, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

By implementing this health protocol in a disciplined manner, we can protect ourselves and others from infectious diseases in winter.

How to Maintain Care at Home

If you are exposed to an infectious disease in winter, there are several home care steps you can take to relieve symptoms:

  • Get enough rest – Make sure to get enough rest, lack of sleep can make symptoms worse. Try to sleep 7-8 hours a day.
  • Take medication – Take fever/flu medication as recommended by your doctor to reduce fever and reduce other symptoms.
  • Warm water compress – Apply a warm water compress to the forehead and neck to provide comfort.
  • Drink lots of water – Drink lots of water to prevent dehydration. Coconut water and fruit juice are also good.
  • Eat nutritious food – Consume balanced nutritious food to increase the body’s endurance, such as vegetables, fruit, eggs, and low-fat milk.
  • Avoid smoking/drinking alcohol – Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol because they can make symptoms worse.
  • Get enough rest – Try to get plenty of rest when you are sick, don’t force yourself to work.

 

These are some ways to prevent infectious diseases, by following the steps above correctly, but if you still often get sick in cold weather, you should consult a trusted doctor about this.

Tentang Penulis: Jonathan putra

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dr. Jonathan Putra merupakan Dokter Umum yang berpraktik di RS Umum Royal Prima. Beliau telah mengemban pendidikan Kedokteran Umum di Universitas Sumatera Utara. Adapun layanan yang dapat dr. Jonathan putra bantu yaitu konsultasi kesehatan umum, seperti demam, sakit kepala/ migrain, diare, batuk/ pilek, sariawan, ambeiien, asma, rematik, kolesterol. Selain itu, Beliau terhimpun dengan Ikatan Dokter Indonesia (IDI).

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