Gesundheitstipp - Sommergrippe vorbeugen

Prevent summer flu

Symptoms such as sore throat, colds, coughs and the like should finally be behind us with the onset of spring. Why does the common cold still often strike in the summer? The good news is that we are not defenseless against the triggers of the “summer flu,” which is actually a flu-like infection.

Good to know: The term “summer flu” is misleading. In fact, it is not a “real flu”, which is caused by influenza viruses, but a cold, also called a flu-like infection.

A summer cold is not much different from a winter cold. Here, too, droplet infection (e.g., when coughing) or smear infection (e.g., via a contaminated door handle) are the most common modes of transmission. The culprits enter the body through the mucous membranes (nose, mouth). Only the type of viruses differs in a cold in summer from those in winter.

Three summer cold traps and how to avoid them

  • The body loves moderate temperatures. Similar to cold, long stays in the summer heat also throw it off balance. Dehydrated, our mucous membranes face the same problem as hypothermic: they are no longer up to their task – flushing viruses out of the body.
  • A similar case is the air conditioning system of your vacation hotel. Here it is again the cold that causes trouble for our mucous membranes in the nasopharynx. Cooled air can hold less moisture and thus promotes dehydration. Viruses have an easier time of it. Our tip: Give the air conditioner a break. With the windows closed, the temperature in the hotel room is often cooler than if you let the heat into the room.
  • Viruses jump most easily, from victim to victim, where many people come together: Festivals, summer parties and the like, but also airplanes, trains and public toilets make life easier for them. However, the more people crowded into a small space, the greater the risk of encountering infected people and becoming infected.

Prevent the “summer flu”: This is how it works`s

  • Pack a big bottle of water on your way to the beach.
  • Avoid – whenever possible – frequent changes between hot and cold.
  • Do not set air conditioners in car or office to full blast.
  • Ventilate in the morning hours, when the temperature is still pleasantly cool, with the window wide open.
  • Remove wet swimwear after swimming and change sweaty clothes.
  • Give ice cold drinks a wide berth. They may be refreshing, but they cool the mucous membranes.
  • Avoid long stays in the sun.
  • Always wash your hands with soap even in summer.
  • Make sure you eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Your immune system will thank you.