With winters soon settling in, the number of viral and bacterial infections start cropping up. Due to the sudden change in temperature, viral infections get active and more and more people get infected. The commonly observed symptoms are high grade fever, throat pain, runny nose, sneezing, cough, body ache and headache. Other manifestations may include acute ear infections, pneumonia, gastroenteritis etc. These all infections are due to dip in temperature. With this changing temperature, the increase in cardiac ailments like heart attacks, cardiac arrests and stroke also start getting reported. As these infections and ailments get prevalent, preventive health checks become very important to avoid any misdiagnosis.Also Read - Schools In Maharashtra For Classes 1-12 to Reopen From January 24: Varsha Gaikwad

Owing to the winter season, people tend to increase the intake of calorie dense food and reduce their involvement in physical activities. This leads to fluctuation of blood pressure in patients already suffering with hypertension and other heart ailments. Hence, every year the number of patients reporting health complications like infections, fluctuating blood pressure and breathing issues are high between the months of November and January. Therefore, it is important that patients who have a compromised immunity, comorbidity and are suffering with long covid should be extra cautious with regard to their lifestyle patterns and respiratory health. Noted below are a few precautions that can be helpful in avoiding unwanted seasonal illnesses, Also Read - Has Third Wave Crossed Its Peak in Delhi, Mumbai? Top ICMR Scientist Explains

Precautions to keep viral illness at bay

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick or show symptoms of flu
  • Wear a mask and cover your mouth and nose while sneezing
  • Maintain your body temperature by eating nutritious food
  • Keep a watch on your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Stay home when you are sick, as viral or bacterial infections are highly communicable
  • Avoid touching your eyes and nose with unclean hands
  • Take care of hand hygiene
  • Consume a balanced diet and ensure adequate sleep
  • On experiencing any related symptom, get yourself tested
  • Don’t self-medicate, consult a doctor
  • Practice good health habits: Focus on active lifestyle, keep a count on healthy calories

In spite of getting vaccinated for Covid-19, we should follow the similar set of precautions as followed in the pandemic to keep any unwanted illness at bay. Wearing a mask, maintaining respiratory hygiene, consuming a balanced diet, monitoring vitals and showcasing a Covid appropriate behavior is important. Most importantly, consulting an expert and not self-medicating can reduce the risk of aggravating the illness. Hence, be aware towards your own health and reduce the risk of catching any unwanted illness. Also Read - ICC Men's U-19 Cricket World Cup 2022: India U-19 Captain Yash Dhull, Five Others Test Covid Positive, Says BCCI

(Authored by Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi)