by Dr. Zach, 2018
Why viruses more in winter — more time indoors sharing air, viruses prefer dryer air
Runny nose, cough, congestion, low grade fever, sore throat
Not caused by being cold (maybe predispose via cold vasoconstricted dry mucus membranes)
Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, extreme fatigue, sore throat, runny
nose, cough and nasal congestion. Occasionally, stomach symptoms such as nausea,
vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain are present.
What are complications associated with flu?
Complications caused by influenza include pneumonia and dehydration, and
worsening of chronic medical conditions such as chronic lung or heart diseases. Children
may develop sinus problems or ear infections.
How is influenza spread?
Influenza is spread from person to person by direct contact with airborne particles or large
droplets from the respiratory tract of the infected person when coughing, sneezing, or
talking. Transmission can also occur through articles recently contaminated by secretions
from the nose and throat of the infected person. Handwashing and avoiding or limiting
contact with an infected person may reduce the risk of infection.
How soon do symptoms appear?
Symptoms of influenza usually appear 1-4 days after exposure.
Virus shedding (contagiousness) begins day before symptoms appear and lasts 5-7 days. Most infective on 2nd and 3rd days after infection. Correlated with fever. (re shedding – shouldn’t go to work)
Every year 10-25% of canadians get flu and 500-1500 die from it
Virus lives longer with low humidity and lack of sunlight. 15 min on tissues, 5 min on skin, 1-2 days on plastic or metal. Mucus protects (up to 17 days on banknotes!)
Get the shot! Safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women
Influenza can occur throughout the year, but seasonally peaks from December to March.
See doc if short of breath, chest pain, drowsy, neck stiff, fever in infant less than 3 months, not urinating
Give to ppl with chronic dz (lung dz, cancer, liver dz, kidney dz, dm, smokers, 65+)
Kids can take it but not necessary unless have health problems
Remember you can infect others, even if you take meds and feel better
Prevention with hand washing, cough into bend of elbow
Some people get soreness, or mild flulike sx.
Caregivers should get it.
From the QC government website:
In QC this year the flu vaccine is recommended and offered free of charge to people who are at higher risk of complications:
To reduce the risk of contamination, the flu vaccine is also offered free of charge to:
Flu vaccination is also free of charge to:
The flu vaccine is offered free of charge to people who have any of the chronic diseases listed below because their disease makes them more susceptible to complications from the flu.
If you are not eligible for the free vaccine, you can still get vaccinated. Since the fee may vary, contact the vaccination clinic of your choice (CLSC, medical clinic or pharmacy) to find out how much it will cost.
Where to get the flu vaccine in QC: https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/advice-and-prevention/vaccination/flu-vaccination-program/procedure/
5-30% increase in heart related deaths in winter, up to 50% more heart attacks in winter
Cold temperature causes vasoconstriction so increased bp. Also blood clots easier in
– from the cold, shoveling
Emotional stress, weight gain, little exercise, more salt
Binge drinking is associated with atrial fibrillation, a common cardiac arrhythmia
Know the symptoms
-Bones and teeth
-Help prevent cancer — There is evidence that vitamin D may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, particularly colorectal and breast cancers.
Major depressive disorder with seasonal pattern; usually worse in winter. SAD’s prevalence in the U.S. ranges from 1.4% in Florida to 9.9% in Alaska.[
Light therapy, medications, therapy
Light therapy (10000 lux, little uv as possible (damaging to skin and eyes), 20-30min
soon after waking, eyes open but not looking directly)
Signs of frostbite include a white or gray skin colour, numbness, and firmness or waxiness of the skin. It is wise to warm or cover any area that begins to feel painful or turn red in the cold because once frostbite sets in the area may be numb and more damage may result without you feeling it.
Tips: get warm, do not walk on frostbitten toes, put the frostbitten part into warm water or warm the area with body heat. Be careful not to burn the affected area which may well be numb.
As always, prevention is better than treatment. Dress properly, cover your skin in the cold.
Dress like it’s cold out, not like you’re going from a heated house to a heated car to a heated work.
Abnormally low body temperature — 35C or less. very cold temperatures, or less cold temperatures if not well dressed or wet. very old and very young especially susceptible.
Warning signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, incoordination, memory loss, and slurred speech. In infants you might note very low energy and bright red, cold skin.
Patients with mild hypothermia demonstrate tachypnea, tachycardia, initial hyperventilation, ataxia, dysarthria, impaired judgment, shivering, and so-called “cold diuresis.”
Get warm, get help if bad. To warm place, remove wet clothing, and warm the person, such as in a warm blanket. Warm beverages can help the person to warm up as well.
Dress warm, wear layers.
Shovel, salt, stay active for muscles & balance, slow down, shoes with traction, bring a phone/have a plan for falls