Cold weather favors circulation of respiratory viruses; Learn how to protect yourself from Covid

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With low temperatures reaching Brazil, some infectious diseases, such as Covid-19 and the flu, tend to appear more frequently. This is because some factors contribute to greater circulation of infectious agents that cause these pathologies.

The seasonality of these respiratory diseases is expected with low temperatures. However, it is possible to protect yourself, as he explained to CNN infectious disease specialist Robson Reis, professor at the Bahia School of Medicine and Public Health.

“Colder temperatures and rainy periods make people at work, at school, on public transport get closer and close doors and windows. This ends up favoring the circulation of viruses,” she said. It is important to note that social distancing is one of the main measures recommended by health authorities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

According to the doctor, in periods when temperatures are low, the risk of indirect transmission increases because people put their hand to their mouth and nose more – regions of entry for viruses.

“This [contágio] occurs when an individual ends up greeting with the hand [alguém infectado] or touching a contaminated surface and putting your hand to your mouth. The virus penetrates through the respiratory tract, favoring indirect transmission,” he said.

For comparison, direct transmission occurs through contact with secretions from another individual, such as coughing and sneezing.

How to protect yourself from Covid in the cold

With low temperatures in Brazil, such as the city of São Paulo, which reached 7ºC at the beginning of Wednesday (18), or Bom Jardim da Serra (SC), which registered -2.4°C, the trend is that people stay in closed and poorly ventilated places.

Reis states that the orientation is that the establishments, depending on the particularity of each one, remain ventilated. It ensures that the wind does not bring viruses into the environment. “Exposure to colder temperatures, especially in more sensitive people, can favor a respiratory disease, especially an allergic condition. But directly the wind will not bring a virus, that is a myth,” he said.

As the Covid-19 protocols were relaxed in several Brazilian capitals, many people relaxed their precautions to avoid the coronavirus. However, the infectologist adds that the best way to protect yourself not only from Covid, but from other respiratory viruses, such as influenza (flu), is to follow the protocols already known.

“As far as possible, try to maintain physical distance. Also do hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol gel. If you are going to be in an environment with many people, it is important to use masks,” he said.

Robson Reis also highlights the importance of vaccines to protect against infections. “It is important to keep vaccines up to date for Covid-19, especially booster doses, the flu vaccine and even vaccines against bacterial infections, such as pneumococcus.”

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Source: CNN Brasil

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