GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. - We're quickly approaching the peak of flu season. According to the CDC, that could come as early as next week.
With the cold weather only getting colder, you probably think it increases your chances of getting sick. But, believe it or not, health professionals say there is not a proven correlation between cold weather and getting sick. However, it can play a role.
“We're more concerned about related injuries from the cold weather [like frostbite]. Now, you do you have people that pile in homes together, trying to keep warm and you're concerned about maybe somebody in the home being ill with a virus that can pass it on to other people,” said Tammy Koonce, a communicable disease nurse consultant at the Guilford County Department of Health.
You hear all the time to wash your hands - but that really is the best way to prevent illness. Plus, use tissues and cover your cough.
If you're already sick, the Guilford County Health Department says go to the doctor to figure out what you have before looking for a remedy. They say cold symptoms are milder than flu symptoms.
Here's what to expect from the flu:
“A person may experience a high fever, chills, body aches. Their muscles maybe aching, they may have a cough, headache, they may become extremely tired,” said Koonce.
And it's not too late to get the flu shot. Health professionals say if you get the shot, it takes about two weeks for those disease fighting antibodies to form and for the vaccine to fully kick in. Even if you get it, they say it's not a guaranteed shield against the flu.
“For any vaccine that you get, it is not 100 percent,” Koonce said, “But it's good to get those vaccines. You don't know where you fall in the spectrum.”
The Health Department says the season is comparable to the last two seasons, and the peak of flu season is usually January and February.