Common Fall Illnesses & How to Prevent Them

The beginning of fall marks the start of temperature drops, changes in weather and the start of cold and flu season. It takes time for your immune system to adjust to the cold, and several viruses and illnesses become more common throughout the season. Learn about the symptoms for potential illnesses that can arise and when you should visit urgent care for treatment.

Common Cold

Over 3 million cases of the common cold are reported each year, with symptoms beginning within three days of exposure to the virus including stuffed or runny nose and congestion. The virus is highly contagious, spreading through contact with objects, surfaces and people who have been infected. It is transmitted from person to surface through drops of moisture that exit the body when someone coughs or sneezes without covering their nose and mouth. There is no way to prevent catching a cold, but you can reduce your chances by regularly washing your hands with soap and hot water, covering your mouth while you cough and sneeze and by getting at least eight hours of sleep each night to allow your body adequate time to rest.

Flu

Flu season starts in the beginning of October and extends through the cold winters through the end of May, with a peak mid-winter. Cases typically last 7-10 days with symptoms ranging from fatigue, fever, aches and chills to nausea and congestion. Unlike the cold virus, the flu can be prevented by getting an annual flu shot, which makes you immune to the virus for up to six months. The shot introduces your body to a dead strain of the virus, allowing it to learn how to fight and beat it before symptoms can develop. The shot changes from year to year to make sure it matches the current strain, which is why it is important to get it at the start of each flu season. Other ways to prevent catching the flu include frequently washing your hands with soap and hot water and covering your mouth and nose.

Sore Throat

For many illnesses you may experience this fall, a sore throat can serve as a warning sign. A symptom for cold, flu, strep throat and allergic reactions, a sore throat can be a sign of a separate problem or its own illness. You can prevent an infection by using your own utensils, keeping indoor air humid and disinfecting your hands frequently.

Cold, Flu & Strep Throat Illness in South Plainfield, NJ

If you begin to develop new symptoms and feel like you’re starting to get sick, visit AFC Urgent Care South Plainfield for a check-up and treatment! Our center is open seven days a week and walk-ins are welcome! For questions, please call 908-222-3500!