Infection in the warm season: what can help against the "summer flu"
Colds and flu infections are generally associated with the cold season, but a viral infection can also occur in summer. Experts explain what can be done about the so-called "summer flu".
When the outside temperature is around 30 degrees in bed
It is truly not pleasant when the sun is shining at 30 degrees and you do not have to spend the day outside on the sun lounger or in the park, but indoors in bed and make life difficult for a cough and a cold. But if you have caught a so-called "summer flu", it is inevitable to protect the body. Experts explain what can best be done and how to reduce the risk of infection.
Not to be confused with real flu
The term “summer flu” is not medically correct.
"In the vernacular, this means a flu-like infection that occurs in the summer months," explains Arndt Möllers, specialist for ear, nose and throat medicine from Münster, in a message from the dpa news agency.
"However, this should not be confused with a real flu, the influenza," said the expert.
The symptoms of a flu-like infection are significantly milder than those of an influenza: "With so-called summer flu, coughing, earache, sore throat and a runny nose often occur gradually, which wears off after a few days," explains Möllers in the agency report.
A real flu, on the other hand, occurs suddenly and the patient suddenly feels really sick with a high fever, fatigue, headache and body aches.
Increased risk when traveling by air
However, the ways of infection of the diseases are the same. As Möllers explains, summer flu also spreads through a so-called droplet infection.
The risk of infection can be fostered, among other things, by air conditioning systems such as in aircraft.
There is also the problem that many people are in a confined space and the air is very dry, which leads to poor blood circulation in the mucous membranes.
Conscious and healthy lifestyle
The length of an infection in summer can vary. Prof. Erika Baum, President of the German Society for General Medicine and Family Medicine, explains in the dpa report: "Most of the time you are fit again after a week."
According to the doctor, the greatest risk of infecting other people is shortly before the onset of the infection and in the first few days when the symptoms are noticeable.
The expert advises a conscious and healthy lifestyle in order to prevent contagion.
"Avoiding pleasure poisons such as smoking or high alcohol consumption, plus adequate sleep and successful coping with stress," says Baum.
Wet feet - especially when it is cooler - and drafts can also promote the outbreak of an infection and should therefore be avoided.
Protect against infection
To prevent colds, you should wash your hands regularly and thoroughly - regardless of whether in winter or summer.
For good protection against infectious diseases, hand washing must take place properly and long enough. From an expert's point of view, 20 to 30 seconds are required to rinse off all pathogens.
Furthermore, places where many people are in a confined space should be avoided if possible.
Anyone who sits on the bus or train and prefers to go by bike is doing a lot of good for their health anyway. Because exercise in the fresh air strengthens the immune system and thus also prevents infections.
"When it comes to nutrition, it is important to drink a lot," recommends Frank Herfurth from the board of the Association of Independent Alternative Practitioners, according to the agency.
You can also strengthen your immune system by eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Protect and drink a lot
But sometimes all the precautions do not help and you are still infected. Then it is primarily a matter of sparing yourself and drinking a lot.
In spite of the heat, care must be taken to ensure that the drinks do not come directly from the refrigerator or are cooled with ice cubes.
Because: "The body then has to bring the liquid in the stomach to body temperature," explains Herfurth in the dpa report. "It uses energy that is lost to the immune system." (Ad)