With colder temperatures and holidays on the way, the last thing you want is to let winter sickness take away the joy of the season. Are you prepared for some of the common viruses that spread during this time of year? Learn about common winter illnesses you could face this season and how you may be able to prevent them with MercyOne Urgent Care.

1. The Common Cold

When you come down with a cold, you have developed a viral infection in your upper respiratory tract. This can cause symptoms such as a stuffy or runny nose, low-grade fever, congestion, and sore throat. Millions suffer from colds each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that adults may experience the common cold two to three times a year. And for children, this is even more common.

4 Common Winter Illnesses & Prevention | MercyOne

To prevent common winter illnesses, remember to wash your hands often with soap and water, and avoid spending time around friends or family who are feeling sick. While a cold can subside on its own, our healthcare professionals can help you feel better faster! If your symptoms do not improve or you have a lasting fever, stop by our clinic for treatment.

2. Influenza (Flu)

Influenza is another of the most common—and deadly—viruses present in the United States today. This condition is marked by high fevers, body aches, and tiredness, among many other symptoms. Due to the easy transmission of this virus through coughing, sneezing, or touching a contaminated surface, the flu is highly contagious. In the 2021-2022 season, the CDC estimated as many as 13 million cases of the flu

You can take the first step in preventing flu contraction and spread by getting your annual flu shot. Stop by MercyOne Urgent Care to get vaccinations for the whole family, including children 6 months of age and older. In a short office visit, we can help you strengthen your immune system against this virus.

3. Pneumonia

For individuals with respiratory issues, cooler temperatures can cause breathing problems to flare. Dryer, colder weather may lead to irritation of the lungs, wheezing, and coughing. This can cause excess mucus to form and develop into bronchitis, or this may increase the risk of infection. Infection within the lungs can lead to pneumonia, a condition in which the air sacs within the lungs become inflamed and filled with fluid or pus. This may be accompanied by chest pain, fever, fatigue, and coughing. And if left untreated, this can become life-threatening.

To help prevent pneumonia and other respiratory problems, remember to dress warmly, practice breathing exercises, and keep up with preventative medications. And don’t forget to visit MercyOne Urgent Care for any concerns about pneumonia and other common winter illnesses.

4. Strep Throat

Strep throat is a virus caused by a bacterial infection of group A Streptococcus. If an individual breathes in this bacteria, shares food with someone infected, or comes in contact with infected surfaces and then touches their mouth or nose, they increase their risk of infection. Symptoms of strep throat include throat pain when swallowing, fever, and swollen tonsils and lymph nodes. You may also experience cold-like symptoms such as a cough or runny nose.

The CDC estimates as many as 25,000 active cases of strep throat occur each year in the United States. If you experience symptoms of strep throat, MercyOne Urgent Care can provide you with the resources you need to recover.

Find Fast Relief From Common Winter Illnesses

As cooler weather settles in, don’t let these common winter illnesses also make themselves at home. Come see our helpful healthcare professionals at MercyOne Urgent Care. We have multiple urgent care locations throughout Iowa to choose from. Stop by your nearest clinic or check-in online to reserve your place in line. We look forward to helping you find relief from sickness so that you can enjoy your holiday season to the fullest!