Cold weather leaves you vulnerable

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Cold weather leaves you vulnerable

Amanda Hikes

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Cold weather can affect the human body mentally and physically.

During this time of year, people may undergo a Vitamin D deficiency, stiffness of the muscles and joints and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Also, people are more susceptible to viral infections during the cold.

Debra Jackson, assistant professor of biology, said changes in temperature bring about different types of diseases.

“In the winter months, you see more respiratory infections,” said Jackson.

But the cold weather alone is not a direct cause for catching the common cold or a seasonal flu.

Both afflictions are actually rendered from viruses, like influenza.

During the winter months, more factors are present that may contribute to spreading the contagions.

Viruses are more secure in cold, dry climates and viral vapors staying airborne longer. The mucus membranes dry out and become more permeable.

Influenza virus is transferred from person to person. It can also be transferred by touching surfaces contaminated by the virus then touching the nose or mouth, allowing the virus into the body. Influenza is highly contagious and can infect people of all ages.

Flu symptoms include fever, fatigue, pain, headache, cough and cold symptoms.

“It is especially important for the very young or elderly or people with compromised immune systems to get a flu shot. But it is important for all of us,” Jackson said.

Feeling bad and being out of school or work can have serious consequences for students in college. That is enough to make anyone want to stay inside with the heater on and hibernate all winter long.

Taking vitamins can help with Vitamin D deficiency, and stiffness of the muscles and joints. Staying warm will help ward off the contributing factors of the cold. Carefully preparing food and eating healthy are also good ways to achieve wellness.

Breana Boone, a sophomore accounting major, said she can barely protect herself from the cold.

“I have put up a good fight so far by taking cough drops every now and then. Other than that, it’s the perfect weather for sleep and cuddling,” Boone said.

Over the counter drugs and home remedies are regularly used to treat cold symptoms.

If infected, avoid further contamination and take time to heal completely.

But not everyone responds the same way to the weather. Misha Clark, a sophomore, pre-pharmacy major, said the cold fronts haven’t really affected her.

“I’m not from around here. I’m from St. Lewis, so I’m used to this kind of weather,” she said.