Can You Catch A Cold From Being In The Cold
This winter, there’s a good chance that people will be spending more time than ever outdoors, given restrictions on indoor dining and gatherings related to COVID-19.
And, for much of the country, that means a lot of time spent out in the cold. That presents a tricky question: Won’t that get us sick? The answer is no. It’s an old wives’ tale that you’ll catch a cold if you go outside in the cold without a coat or hat. That said, there is a link between cold weather and viruses.
“We call it cold and flu season for good reason,” said Dr. Benjamin Singer, a pulmonary and critical care specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. “Rhinoviruses, which are one of the main causes of the common cold, spike in late fall and early winter, and influenza historically spikes in mid-to-late winter February, early March.”
But it’s not the cold itself to blame not exactly, anyway.
Caring For Your Symptoms At Home
Many chest infections aren’t serious and get better within a few days or weeks. You won’t usually need to see your GP, unless your symptoms suggest you have a more serious infection .
While you recover at home, you can improve your symptoms by:
- getting plenty of rest
- drinking lots of fluid to prevent dehydration and to loosen the mucus in your lungs, making it easier to cough up
- treating headaches, fever and aches and pains with painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- drinking a warm drink of honey and lemon to relieve a sore throat caused by persistent coughing
- raising your head up with extra pillows while you’re sleeping to make breathing easier
- using an air humidifier or inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water to ease your cough
- stopping smoking
Avoid cough medicines, as there’s little evidence they work. Coughing actually helps you clear the infection more quickly by getting rid of the phlegm from your lungs.
Antibiotics aren’t recommended for many chest infections. They only work if the infection is caused by bacteria, rather than a virus.
Your GP will usually only prescribe antibiotics if they think you have pneumonia, or you’re at risk of complications such as fluid building up around the lungs .
If there’s a flu outbreak in your local area and you’re at risk of serious infection, your GP may also prescribe antiviral medication.
What Causes Chest Infections
A chest infection is an infection of the lungs or airways. The main types of chest infection are bronchitis and pneumonia.
Most bronchitis cases are caused by viruses. Most pneumonia cases are due to bacteria.
These infections are usually spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This launches tiny droplets of fluid containing the virus or bacteria into the air. These droplets can then be breathed in by others.
The infections can also be spread to others. This happens if you cough or sneeze onto your hand, an object or a surface, and someone else shakes your hand or touches those surfaces before touching their mouth or nose.
Certain groups of people have a higher risk of developing serious chest infections, such as:
- babies and very young children
- children with developmental problems
- people who are very overweight
- elderly people
- pregnant women
- people who smoke
- people with long-term health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, cystic fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- people with a weakened immune system this could be due to a recent illness, a transplant, high-dose steroids, chemotherapy or a health condition, such as an undiagnosed HIV infection
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Catching A Cold From The Rain
Remember when mom warned you not to go out in the rain or youd catch a cold? Most of us probably grabbed a raincoat before leaving, but did you ever wonder whether it was actually true? Its difficult to sort out in regions where the rainy season corresponds with cold and flu season.
A cold is caused by a virus, which not influenced by rain. However, certain cold viruses spread more easily in the winter because they function better at low temperatures. Cold weather correlates with colds but rain cannot cause you to catch a cold.
To limit your chance of catching a cold, wash your hands or sanitize them after touching things that others with a virus may have touched. To limit spreading the cold, wear a mask, sterilize your hands, cough into your elbow, andif possibledont go to work or try to work at home when you have a cold.
At What Temperature Are You At Risk For Frostbite
Frostbite happens when the skin and underlying tissues freeze. Even skin covered by gloves, a hat, or other winter wear may be vulnerable, according to Mayo Clinic.
National Weather Service
Your risk for frostbite depends on the windchill, which is a composite of the air temperature and wind speed. A windchill chart from the National Weather Service shows frostbite is likely to set in within 30 minutes if your unexposed skin comes in direct contact with a temperature that is 0 degrees F and wind that is just 5 miles per hour . The NWS notes that this windchill calculation assumes the sun is not out.
Early detection is key when treating frostbite, says Robert Glatter, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Without proper medical care, frostbite can contribute to complications like sensitivity to cold, long-term numbness, joint stiffness, gangrene, and hypothermia, per Mayo Clinic. Seek medical attention if you experience signs of severe frostbite. These include white or blue-gray skin, loss of sensation or an inability to feel cold, joint and muscle malfunction, blisters that appear 24 to 48 hours after rewarming, or tissue that has turned black and hard.
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Treatment Of Pneumonia In Dogs
Treatment for bacterial pneumonia may include a broad-spectrum antibiotic to fight off the infection. If your veterinarian performed a tracheal wash, they might decide to change the antibiotics later based on the bacteria that were identified in the test. Fungal pneumonia typically requires anti-fungal medication.
For any type of pneumonia, your veterinarian may prescribe medications to help control the symptoms. These may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication for fever and pain, as well as bronchodilators and expectorants for coughing and difficulty breathing. If the pneumonia is severe, your dog may need to be hospitalized for supportive care, including supplemental oxygen, intravenous antibiotics, or fluid therapy.
Remember never to give your dog medications without talking to your veterinarian first. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen , acetaminophen , and aspirin can be harmful to dogs. You should also follow your veterinarian’s dosage instructions carefully to make sure your dog is getting an effective yet safe amount of the medication.
Human medications can be highly toxic to dogs, so keep your pill bottles out of paws reach. Get tips on handling a pet poison emergency.
Can You Get The Flu From Your Dog
Dog flu is caused by a virus that can be transmitted to other dogs, but there are currently no cases where it has spread to humans. It is caused by a different type of virus than the one that makes us feel all achy and feverish. Because there have been rare, isolated reports of sick dogs infecting cats, ferrets, and guinea pigs, sick dogs should be safely isolated from other pets in the home. However, you don’t have to worry about contracting the flu from them.
Some diseases can be passed between dogs and humans. Learn about the risks of these zoonotic diseases.
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How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Pneumonia can sometimes be hard to diagnose because the symptoms are the same as for a bad cold or flu. If you think it could be pneumonia, you should see your doctor. Your doctor may diagnose pneumonia based on your medical history and the results from a physical exam. He or she will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. Your doctor may also do some tests, such as a chest X-ray or a blood test. A chest X-ray can show your doctor if you have pneumonia and how widespread the infection is. Blood and mucus tests can help your doctor tell whether bacteria, a virus, or a fungal organism is causing your pneumonia.
What Causes Bacterial Pneumonia
Doctors often refer to typical and atypical pneumonias, based on the signs and symptoms of the condition. This can help to predict the type of bacteria causing the pneumonia, the duration of the illness, and the optimal treatment method.
Typical pneumonia comes on very quickly.
- Typical pneumonia usually results in a high fever and shaking chills.
- Typical pneumonia usually leads to the production of yellow or brown sputum when coughing.
- There may be chest pain, which is usually worse with breathing or coughing. The chest also may be sore when it is touched or pressed.
- Typical pneumonia can cause shortness of breath, especially if the person has any chronic lung conditions such as asthma or emphysema.
- Because chest pain also can be a sign of other serious medical conditions, do not try to self-diagnose.
- Older people can have confusion or a change in their mental abilities as a sign of pneumonia or other infection.
Atypical pneumonia has a gradual onset.
- It is often referred to as “walking pneumonia.”
- Sometimes it follows another illness in the days to weeks before the pneumonia.
- The fever is usually lower, and shaking chills are less likely.
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How Do Dogs Get Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammation of the air sacs of the lungs. These air sacs may fill with fluid or pus, which causes the difficulty breathing and coughing associated with the disease. Pneumonia in dogs can have different causes:
- Viral or bacterial Infectious pneumonia is the most prevalent type of pneumonia in dogs. It is caused by a viral or bacterial infection in the respiratory tract.
- Breathing in foreign material Aspiration pneumonia occurs when a dog breathes something into their lungs. Two common reasons this could happen is if a dog throws up and breathes in some of the vomit or if they inhale liquid medication while it is being administered.
- Fungus This form of pneumonia is typically caused by an inhalation of spores, which can spread through the body and cause an infection. It typically develops over time and is characterized by a moist cough and thick nasal discharge.
Can Pneumonia Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many factors that can raise your risk for developing pneumonia. These include:
People who have any of the following conditions are also at increased risk:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- sickle cell disease
You can help prevent pneumonia by doing the following:
- Get the flu vaccine each year. People can develop bacterial pneumonia after a case of the flu. You can reduce this risk by getting the yearly flu shot.
- Get the pneumococcal vaccine. This helps prevent pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria.
- Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Dont smoke. Smoking damages your lungs and makes it harder for your body to defend itself from germs and disease. If you smoke, talk to your family doctor about quitting as soon as possible.
- Practice a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables. Exercise regularly. Get plenty of sleep. These things help your immune system stay strong.
- Avoid sick people. Being around people who are sick increases your risk of catching what they have.
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When Should I See My Doctor
Pneumonia can be life-threatening if left untreated, especially for certain at-risk people. You should call your doctor if you have a cough that wont go away, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a fever. You should also call your doctor if you suddenly begin to feel worse after having a cold or the flu.
#dyk You Can Still Get Pneumonia In The Summer
- Lung Health and Diseases
Most people associate getting a cold, the flu or even pneumococcal pneumonia with winter weather, but while there may be an uptick in cases during the cold, wet monthsit is still possible to be sidelined with a respiratory infection during the summer months. In fact, pneumococcal pneumonia can occur any time of the year. It can strike anywhere, anytime and may start quickly with little warning.
While pneumonia always refers to an infection of the lungs, there are many different types. The most common type of bacterial pneumonia is called pneumococcal pneumonia. Its an illness that is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a common bacteria that can be spread from person to person through a cough or close contact. Once these bacteria invade the lungs and bloodstream, they may cause serious illness. These bacteria can cause part of the lung to become inflamed and fill up with mucus, making it harder to breathe. Symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia can come on quickly, and may include:
- Chest pain from difficulty breathing or coughing
- Excessive sweating
- A cough with phlegm that persists or gets worse
- A high fever, shaking chills
- 3.8 million adults are at 7.7 times greater risk due to COPD
- 3.5 million adults are at 5.9 times greater risk due to asthma
- 4.2 million adults are at 3.9 times greater risk due to smoking
Content was developed in partnership with Pfizer Inc.
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How Heat Can Affect Your Copd
Your body is always working to maintain a normal body temperature. When you are exposed to extreme weather conditions, such as extreme heat and humidity, your body must use extra energy to try and cool down. This extra energy causes your body to work harder.
If you have COPD, you are already using much of your energy just to breathe. When you are in extreme heat your body uses more energy while working hard to keep your normal body temperature. If it gets too hot, this can affect a persons breathing.
Rainy Day Dangers For Dogs
Reviewed for accuracy on April 23, 2018, by Dr. Katie Grzyb, DVM
Rain is the ultimate disrupter. Whether youre simply stuck in your office without an umbrella, getting poured on after enjoying a day at the park with your kids, orworst of allwaiting to get on a plane at an overcrowded airport, a storm can destroy the best laid plans.
A dogs routine is much simpler than that of his owner, but rain doesnt spare his plans either. The evening walk he looks forward to? Postponed. Simply going outside to run around and relieve himself? Well, its still necessary, but itll be quicker and less pleasant than it usually is.
In general, its best to stick to short bathroom breaks outside during heavy rain and save the outdoor play time for better weather, says Dr. Sarah Tauber, a veterinarian at DoveLewis Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital in Portland, Oregon.
Unfortunately, rain can present some real health and safety problems for dogs. Here are four dangers to look out for:
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Will Running In The Rain Make You Sick
Ever see arunner in the rain and think, OMG what a legend?
With flu seasonjust around the corner , you might bereassessing your running routine or tossing up whether or not to sign up for a winter marathon, particularly when the rain clouds roll in.
But did a littlerain ever hurt anybody, or are you just looking for an excuse to hibernate away from the chill?
Is There A Vaccine For Pneumonia
There isnt a vaccine for all types of pneumonia, but 2 vaccines are available. These help prevent pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria. The first is recommended for all children younger than 5 years of age. The second is recommended for anyone age 2 or older who is at increased risk for pneumonia. Getting the pneumonia vaccine is especially important if you:
- Are 65 years of age or older.
- Have certain chronic conditions, such as asthma, lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, sickle cell disease, or cirrhosis.
- Have a weakened immune system because of HIV/AIDS, kidney failure, a damaged or removed spleen, a recent organ transplant, or receiving chemotherapy.
- Have cochlear implants .
The pneumococcal vaccines cant prevent all cases of pneumonia. But they can make it less likely that people who are at risk will experience the severe, and possibly life-threatening, complications of pneumonia.
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Cold Weather Workouts: What To Wear And When Youre Better Off Staying Inside
The insidious thing about hypothermia is that it often causes impaired cognition, which affects the ability to recognize whats wrong, so the hypothermia can get worse, adds Bradley J. Uren, MD, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. Dr. Uren and Glatter both note that the impairment can make someone look intoxicated, stumble, and speak incoherently hypothermia mimics a stroke in this way but checking your temperature can give some insight into where these symptoms are coming from.
Sweating or getting wet increases your risk of hypothermia. So if youre a die-hard runner and have to get your miles in or plan to be outside and active in the snow, take precautions to stay dry. When the temperature is less than 50 degrees F and youre going to sweat when youre outside, wear a synthetic base layer to wick away moisture, a natural fiber like wool in the middle, and a down jacket thats waterproof and windproof. That temperature seems high, but when you sweat through your clothes, youre then carrying something that can sap away your body heat. If youre sweating in below 0 degrees F temperatures, youre definitely in a danger zone.
Thats your ideal way to protect yourself against not only the outside elements, but to help protect you from sweat that could inadvertently contribute to hypothermia, says Uren. Water, in any form, is the greatest enemy.