Uncertain Climate, Low Immunity, Chronic Illnesses Can Lead to Winter Flu: Warns Doctor

by Priya J

Pune: Winter flu can strike many people amid Pandemic. Furthermore, the symptoms of Coronavirus and influenza tend to overlap with each other. It is the need of the hour for the doctors to be able to distinguish between both the symptoms and suggest appropriate treatment. Precautions like eating a nutritious diet, exercising every day, and taking a flu shot can do the trick. Along with that, it is also recommended to go for regular health checkups.

Winter flu is also called influenza that normally happens during the winter season, mainly during January when the overall temperature drops down. “Winter flu normally affects the young age group and elderly people with low immunity and respiratory problems like bronchial asthma, the ones who smoke, drink alcohol, and have a sedentary lifestyle. Factors like pollution, climate changes, pregnancy, chronic illnesses like obesity, kidney and heart problems, and diabetes are also responsible for winter flu. Though age is a factor for winter flu, even lifestyle and faulty habits can make people prone to the winter flu. The symptoms of winter flu are fever, chills, sweat, aching muscles, fatigue, cough, runny nose, headache, sore throat, vomiting, and diarrhoea. The treatment may vary from person to person depending on the severity of the flu,” said Dr Mukesh Budhwani, General Physician Apollo Clinic Pune.

Dr Budhwani added, “It is easy and simple to take precautions at home to combat winter flu. People must swear by a protein-rich diet and cut down on carbohydrates. Increase your intake of vitamin C-rich fruits like oranges, grapes, beetroot, green vegetables, eggs, and chicken. Vitamin C, B12, zinc, and D supplement can boost immunity against winter flu. Exercising for at least 45 minutes a day depending on your capacity. Do activities like jogging, cycling, yoga, pranayama, cardio, and breathing exercises. Avoid spicy, greasy, junk and processed food. Reduce your intake burgers, pizzas and bakery products like cakes, pastries, donuts and muffins. Influenza vaccines are available since many years. Now, it has become mandatory for babies. People above 10 should start taking it on yearly basis. Doing so will help one fight against all kinds of influenza viruses.”

Other tips to minimize the risk of winter flu are covering the mouth while coughing, avoid going to crowded places, clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched and wash your hands from time to time. “People belonging to all the age groups like children, adults, older people especially with comorbidities and pregnant women should opt for regular health checkups. This will allow the doctor to spot unusual symptoms and prescribe appropriate medication,” concluded Dr Budhwani.

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