Winter Weather! The Northern and Northeastern areas of Thailand are usually most affected by cold weather. With winter weather may come winter illness. Cold weather causes our respiratory organs, sinus tissue and buccal mucosa (the inside lining of the mouth) to become dryer and our immune systems to be under more pressure. So what are these common winter illnesses, their symptoms and how can you protect yourself? According to the advice from the Department of Disease Control changes in weather means that our body may struggle to adapt. Here are some common problems that usually occur at winter time, especially for children and the elder. Influenza is an acute respiratory infection. The cause is an influenza virus.
What’s a concern about influenza is that it is often widespread, sometime as a worldwide pandemic. Influenza is contagious through sneezing, coughing, nasal mucus, saliva, or even the breath droplets of a patient. Luckily, a vaccine for influenza has been developed. It is recommended especially for the children, the elderly and those in the medical profession. The vaccine must be taken yearly as there are always new hybrid viruses, for which our body has no immunity.
The common cold has similar symptoms to influenza however they are limited to a runny nose, coughing, sneezing and throat irritation, rather than a fever and muscle pain. In addition, influenza has more complications with more serious symptoms and takes longer to heal. It is important to identify whether an illness is just a common cold or influenza.
There is still no vaccine for the common cold although it is said in certain reports that vitamin C is protection, but this is disputed. What is most important is to stay healthy and eat nutritional food as protection. Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by viruses, fungus or even parasites. When you have pneumonia, there will be discharges and fluid build-up which leads to difficult in absorbing oxygen.
The lack of oxygen may be life threatening. Having pneumonia means we have breathed in a virus and that it enter the lungs or that bacterium in our throat find its way to our lungs causing infection. There are also circumstances when bacteria in our blood finds its way into our lung, but this is rare. Pneumonia is found in children more than adults.
It is contagious through breathing, nasal mucus and saliva. The incubation period for pneumonia is around 1-3 days, or up to 1 week in some patients. We need to be alert to pneumonia as it can be life threatening, particularly for children younger than 5 years of age and especially those in the first year of life. It usually occurs 2-3 days after catching a cold. Medical advice is always advised when the symptom are uncertain. More information will follow in the next article. Information provided by Healthlab Hua Hin.