How to Prepare Yourself Against Flu in Winter?
Have you ever wondered why winter and flu season always overlaps? People sneezing, coughing and catching fever are more commonly seen in colder months. According to the preliminary estimation of CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the overall burden of influenza (flu) for 2021-2022 in the US alone had reached approximately 9 million flu illnesses, among which 4 million were flu-related medical visits, 100,000 flu-related hospitalizations, and 5 thousand flu deaths . In 2022, the situation seems to worsen, as there have already been 15 to 33 million flu illnesses, 7.3 to 16 million flu medical visits, 150 to 330 thousand flu hospitalizations, and 9.3 to 28 thousand flu deaths from October 1, 2022, through December 10, 2022 .
Does the cold, dry air weaken resistance, rendering people vulnerable to respiratory infection? Are the flu viruses simply active in lower temperatures? This article will show you the exact reasons why the flu is wrecking more havoc during winter, who the vulnerable groups are and, most importantly, how to prepare yourself against the flu in this particularly sinister season, with a mask, disinfectant fluid, and flu test kit.
What is Flu Exactly?
The flu, short for influenza, is a viral respiratory illness, and is caused by the viruses invading your body’s cells that make you sick.
Being highly contagious, the flu spreads even before the symptoms show, mostly via an infected person’s coughs and sneezes. Therefore, a diagnostic kit is recommended for those suspecting themselves of getting infected.
Why do More People Fall Victim to the Flu During Winter?
Is the flu caused by cold temperatures? No. The flu is caused and only caused by the influenza virus, and the cold temperatures serve nothing more than a contributing factor, along with confined space and dry air.
Three of the most popular theories about why the flu strikes harder in winter include:
- People incline to stay indoors longer with the windows sealed during winter, unintentionally creating a confined space where people breathe the same air as someone who has the flu, thereby contracting the virus.
- The lack of vitamin D and melatonin due to shorter days and lowered sunlight impact our immune systems, thus decreasing our ability to fight the virus.
- The influenza virus thrives in colder, drier climates, bringing more people down .
Who Are the Most Vulnerable Groups?
Those very young, very old, and those with weakened immune systems and low physiological reserve to combat influenza, are the most at risk against flu. Additionally, certain health conditions can also lead to a higher risk of severe flu, such as:
- Heart disease and stroke
- Cancer Chronic kidney disease
What Are the Symptoms of Flu and Cold?
Regardless of the similar symptoms (cough, scratchy throat, and stuffy nose, fatigue, chills), the flu is not to be confused with the common cold, as the former also includes several other symptoms, from cold sweats, body aches, fever, headache, exhaustion to vomiting and diarrhea, among other some gastrointestinal symptoms.
How to Protect You and Those Around You if You Are Infected?
It is always our responsibility to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, and the prevailing flu can be prevented by taking some simple safety measures, such as:
- Get vaccinated ASAP
- Wear a mask
- Avoid contact with those who are already infected
- Wash your hands
- Disinfect surface of high-touch objects and areas
However, if you develop similar symptoms and suspect you may have the flu, it is highly recommended to isolate yourself and test yourself, either by contacting your doctor or doing a self-test with a flu test kit.
Sansure’s FluA/Flu B – Influenza A/B Virus Nucleic Acid Diagnostic Kit
S3353E FluA/Flu B – Influenza A/B Virus Nucleic Acid Diagnostic Kit is an influenza test kit intended to detect influenza A and influenza B at a very early stage. Used for the auxiliary diagnosis of respiratory influenza A/B virus infection, this flu test kit provides molecular diagnostic basis for further infection with the following features.
- Covering pathogens
This flu test kit covers both influenza A and influenza B, as the former is the most harmful one, and latter has weak pathogenicity and is not easy to mutate.
- Compatible instrument
This flu test kit can also be compatible with ABI 7500; MA-6000; SLAN-96P; QuantGene 9600; iPonatic S-Q31A/S-Q31B, achieving the best efficiency with these instruments.
This flu test kit ensures sensitivity as high as 200 copies/mL.
What to Do if You Are Infected?
If the result turns out to be positive, it means you are infected with the flu. There’s no need to panic. Winter IS indeed the flu season, after all. According to your conditions’ severity, you may either choose to stay at home for self-healing, or get in touch with your doctor or visit your local urgent care clinic immediately for further instructions.
 Preliminary Estimated Influenza Illnesses, Medical visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths in the United States – 2021-2022 influenza season.
Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2021-2022.htm
 2022-2023 U.S. Flu Season: Preliminary In-Season Burden Estimates.
 Why is There a Winter Flu Season?