In the United States, flu season almost always falls in between the end of October and the beginning of March. It’s something that the healthcare industry braces for every year, but why is flu season always at the same time?

Our AFC Urgent Care Chapman Highway team provides some helpful answers below, so keep reading!

What Causes the Flu?

The flu is caused by influenza viruses that infect the respiratory system. The influenza virus spreads when people who have the virus cough, sneeze or talk, which all send droplets with the virus into the air and potentially into the mouths or noses of people who are nearby.

The flu often doesn’t cause serious complications, but those who have weak immune systems or are pregnant have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill. We’ve listed the most common flu symptoms below.

Common Flu Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Aches and pains throughout the body
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • An extreme feeling of fatigue
  • A persistent and worsening cough
  • Stuffy or runny nose

Why Does Flu Season Always Happen During the Same Time?

There are several reasons. One of the most popular theories, though, is that days are shorter during the winter. Because winter days are shorter and there is less sunlight, this will lead to low levels of vitamin D and melatonin, both of which require sunlight to benefit the immune system. Having a weaker immune system will decrease our ability to fight off the flu.

Because of this reason and others, it’s important to do what you can this winter to stay healthy and stave off the flu. We’ve listed some effective ways to keep yourself healthy below.

Ways to Prevent the Flu

  • Get your annual flu vaccine.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze.
  • Wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Feeling less than your best? If so, don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Chapman Highway team today to get the care you need to feel better!