Everyone loves the holidays. With festive lights adorning every corner and warm home-cooked meals waiting for you, it’s a time of merriment for everyone. But as wonderful as it is to spend the weekend catching up with your friends and family, it is important to take preventative measures to keep your health in check.
The holidays are a breeding ground for contagious diseases, skipping from one person to the next. If you’re not careful, you just might end up spending the rest of the year in a slump. But don’t worry! We’re here to tell you which diseases you should look out for the most and how you can prevent them, so make sure to keep reading.
Contagious Diseases to Look Out For During The Holiday Season
The last thing you want is to get sick right when the season of partying is about to begin. It’s no secret that people travel from all over the world to get together for the holidays, spending the remaining days of the year enjoying with everyone. But sometimes, these get-togethers can be fatal to your health. Take a look below to see some of the most common contagious illnesses that tend to linger in the air.
Influenza is a disease that affects your upper respiratory area. However, it is usually triggered by a bacterial infection that can easily be transmitted to the other person through close proximity or sharing food utensils.
A persistent cough, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pain, headaches, and fever are common symptoms of influenza. If you think you’re displaying either of these signs, take an over-the-counter painkiller to tone down the symptoms.
- Stomach Flu
There’s no doubt that everyone loves to stuff themselves full during the holidays. However, there are times when eating too much can inflame your stomach and intestines, especially if the food accidentally comes into contact with bacteria, parasites, or certain toxins.
Stomach flu, or gastroenteritis, is highly contagious. It can easily spread from person to person if you ingest contaminated food or come into contact with someone who didn’t wash their hands. Diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, and fever are telltale signs of gastroenteritis.
HFMD, or hand-foot-mouth disease, is a common disease that affects children. Caused by enterovirus, HFMD can lead to sore throat, fever, exhaustion, lack of appetite, and skin rashes. If proper care is not taken, HFMD can advance to the brain, lungs, and heart, infecting all internal organs.
The best way to prevent HFMD is to have separate utensils for everyone. Try not to share or mix your cutlery with others. Similarly, painkillers can help soothe the pain, but it is better to get it treated by a medical professional.
- Strep Throat
Strep throat is a common condition that can overtake your throat, making it feel sore and scratchy. Even eating and drinking can become extremely difficult when you have strep throat. Drinking cold drinks or eating something too sweet can make it worse. At times, strep throat can also trigger loss of appetite, stomachache, and nausea.
To avoid making your strep throat symptoms worse, wear a mask indoors and consult a healthcare professional before taking any antibiotics.
Salmonella is typically caused after eating or drinking something that contains the salmonella bacteria. This is usually found in raw poultry, beef, and eggs, as well as unwashed fruits and vegetables.
From an upset stomach to intense nausea and diarrhea, salmonella can significantly dampen your holiday spirit. If you contract salmonella, make sure to replenish your body’s lost fluids and take in as many electrolytes as you possibly can.
Long Story Short
The holiday season is filled with laughter and joy, but if you’re not careful, it can just as easily get replaced by coughing fits and an upset stomach. However, before you take part in a get-together, make sure to take precautionary measures. Or, if you feel lethargic and sick right after the holidays, immediately take action and schedule an appointment with Sharaf Diwan, MD, by giving us a call at (832) 604-0005.