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Diseases to Watch Out This Winter

November 15 2016
Diseases to Watch Out This Winter

A few common ailments to look out this winter

Winter has finally arrived. It is time to say goodbye to the bright sunny days and give way to the cold winds and grey fog. While winter is the time to get immersed in Christmas and New Year festivities, it can also bring an unpleasant baggage of diseases with it.

Statistics obtained from the Open Government Data (OGD) platform of the Government of India reveals that more than ten thousand people have died from cold and exposure between 2001-2014. An average of 781 fatalities in the past 14 years makes winter the second biggest killer among natural disasters.

From common cold to heartburn and asthma attack, here are a few ailments to watch out this winter:

Dry Skin

Low humidity in the air during winter results in excessive dryness and peeling off of the skin. This can be easily cured by using moisturisers like coconut oil and body lotions.

A moisturiser will act as a sealant and prevent the natural moisture of skin from evaporating. You must use only warm water for bathing and avoid hot water as it dries the skin up and makes it itchy.

Cold and Flu

The onset of winter brings flu, which may weaken your immune system and last all of spring season. Throat congestion, headache, cough and running nose are common occurrences during the peak of winter.

If you are prone to flu, you must:

  • Get yourself vaccinated
  • Ensure that your surroundings are clean
  • Use hand sanitiser after using public utilities
  • Facilitate proper ventilation in your area of work or home
  • Eat healthy food to boost your immune system
  • Rest at home if you are sick


Commonly known as the 'winter vomiting bug', Norovirus is an infectious stomach virus that causes stomach flu. The flu is common in winter and its symptoms include vomiting, watery diarrhoea and fever.

During the infection, you must drink more fluids to prevent dehydration but avoid fizzy drinks as they can worsen your dehydration. Since toddlers dehydrate quickly, a physician must be consulted immediately after infection.

Heart Attacks

A little-known fact is that heart attacks are more common in winters. It is because your heart functions harder than usual to keep your body warm which increases blood pressure and exerts more strain on your heart.

People above the age of 30 should restrict strenuous exercises during freezing winter mornings. Exercise only when it is sunny outside and wear extra layers of clothing whenever you step out of your home.

Asthma Attacks

For asthmatic patients, the cold air during winter can tighten the airway and make it difficult to breathe. Dense smog and air pollution further intensify the situation and make it difficult to even step out of the home.

The best way to stay protected is to stay indoors during windy days and wear a face mask whenever you step outside. Keep your home smoke-free and timely wash bedsheets to avoid accumulation of dust particles.

Taking certain precautionary measures can help prevent several winter diseases. Participation in winter sports and engagement in wellness activities will also keep you in shape and fit. Besides, a comprehensive health insurance that focuses on wellness activities is a smart choice to stay protected this winter.

Related Article:

5 Ways to Protect Your Heart This Winter
Get Rewarded for Staying Fit: Wellness Programs

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