It’s summertime. The sky is blue, the air is warm, the beach is packed, people are happier than usual, and life is peachy…except that is for the poor souls who are unfortunate enough to have picked up a summer illness.
Sickness in summer seems so unfair. Feeling crappy and congested when the rest of the world is seizing the day and enjoying the amazing holiday weather somehow feels much worse than the winter equivalent.
We’ve all heard the term “flu season”, and we all pretty much assume that flu season coincides with the winter months. While it is true that Colds and Flu are more common in winter time, does this mean that we should be less careful in the summer months about germs and personal hygiene? NO WAY! Read on to find out the important reasons why.
Any illness is a massive inconvenience, uncomfortable, and can even be depressing…especially when all your friends are having a BBQ or pool party while you are at home having a pity party.
A surprising fact about summer illness is that they tend to last longer. The Huffington Post1 reports that summer colds can last 2 – 3 times longer than their winter cousins. This is partially due to differences between summer and winter germs, but also because of behavior such as blasting the Air-con, over-exercising, and late summer nights – all of which makes the immune system work harder.
To make things worse, Global News2 reports that summer colds often have more severe symptoms, both physically and psychosomatically.
Clearly, coming down sick in the summer is not a good time!
Summer illnesses can include the following:
- Flu-Like illnesses- also known as The Common Cold. This means that you have a viral illness that causes symptoms similar to the flu.
- Influenza– more severe symptoms than the Common Cold, and more likely to lead to complications
- Stomach Flu– also known as ‘Gastro’. This is very unpleasant and is common any time of the year. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and just feeling horrible
Summer illnesses are not restricted to these viral infections, but also bacterial infections such as Strep throat, Tuberculosis, Urinary tract infections…not to mention Fungal infections!
So how do you avoid these nasties?
The good news is you can easily plan ahead and stay away from most summertime sickness offenders.
Did you know?
You’re more likely to pick up germs from a hard surface than a soft material such as fabric, tissue, and paper. This is because drops of moisture containing germs can disperse on soft surfaces, but remain intact for much longer on metal, glass, iPhone screens, desks etc. The Huffington Post3 points to a 2007 study which showed that germs persist on smooth things such as light switches, doorknobs, and telephones for over 18hours!
With all this valuable insight in mind, here are 6 excellent strategies for staying healthy this summer:
- Wash your hands regularly – this is a tried and true practice.
- One of the germiest and sweatiest places a person willingly spends time in is a fitness club. Use Antibacterial Gym Wipes when handling shared equipment or shared surfaces. All it takes is hopping onto that treadmill after an infected person has just used it, and bam you’re easily infected.
- Offices hide the motherload of germs, with keyboards, phones, door handles, etc. harboring scary amounts of bacteria etc. Be aware of any shared surface and take steps to disinfect any such surface you plan to touch with Antibacterial Office Wipes.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, with your hands – one touch with a germ-carrying finger is all it takes!
- Avoid sick people, particularly if they are coughing and sneezing – but be subtle about it ok! (Oh and stay home if you are ill yourself!)
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, get plenty of moderate exercise, stay well hydrated, and try to get at least 7hrs of sleep each night – all of these are strong immune system boosters
Do these things and you are maximizing your chance of avoiding the dreaded summer sickness. Good Luck and Happy Holidays!