Surviving the Summer Flu Tips for Beating the Unexpected Warm-Weather Bug

Surviving the Summer Flu Tips for Beating the Unexpected Warm-Weather Bug

Many people also suffer from the flu or a cold in summer. The causes of the so-called summer flu are the same as those of an illness in winter: it is an infection with viruses. But some triggers favour the development of such a summer flu, especially in the warm season. What helps against the infection? We show typical symptoms of summer flu, give tips on how to treat summer flu and explain how to avoid summer flu.

Summer flu or summer cold?

Even if the term flu is often equated with a cold, the “real” flu is a severe illness. Very temperature-sensitive influenza viruses cause the flu. Classically, the flu season is, therefore, in the cold season.

On the other hand, a cold is also referred to as a flu-like infection or (technically) an acute respiratory infection. Viruses are also triggers, many of which, like the influenza virus, tend to occur in winter. But even in summer, some pathogens can trigger a cold. These include parainfluenza viruses, rhinoviruses and various (relatively harmless) viruses from the coronavirus family.

Nevertheless, “summer flu” is so common in everyday language that it is also used in the following.

 

Causes and triggers of the “flu” in summer

Studies have shown that over 90 per cent of the population has summer flu due to their behaviour. This means how we behave can promote the summer flu-like infection.

The cause of summer flu is easy to explain: If, for example, a heated, sweaty body is increasingly exposed to drafts in summer – from an air conditioner, a fan, open car windows or in aeroplanes or trains – the mucous membranes dry out. As a result, they can no longer appropriately fulfil their function as a “protective shield” against invading pathogens, which promotes the development of summer flu. Drinks that are too cold can also dry out the mucous membranes.

Other triggers can be insufficient fluid intake, prolonged sunbathing  (sometimes even in connection with a sunburn ), or cooling down the body through cool baths or wet clothing (e.g. sweaty clothing or wet swimwear). The immune system is weakened, making it more susceptible to viruses.

Remember that viruses are very contagious and can spread quickly in large crowds. If possible, avoid large crowds and remember to wash your hands regularly. Also, be careful not to infect others, for example, by coughing or sneezing into a handkerchief or the crook of your arm instead of your hands.

Symptoms of summer flu: fever and scratchy throat

The typical summer flu is announced – just like a cold in winter – by symptoms such as a dry, scratchy feeling in the throat, a runny nose, headaches and fatigue. In summer flu, there are often signs of:

Viruses easily infect all mucous membranes in the body. You feel ill and exhausted, so you would rather spend the summer at home in bed than on the lawn in the swimming pool.

How long does summer flu last?

It lasted only a few days. As a rule, summer flu is, therefore, not considered dangerous. Nevertheless, it should not be underestimated.

Treatment of a summer flu: what to do?

What is the best treatment for summer flu? A summer flu needs proper recovery even when the weather is fine and tempting. Once it hits you, the same applies to treatment in the cold season: Don’t overtax your body too early. Give him rest and sleep, as he needs most now. Sport or other exertion, such as excellent heat, are not conducive to therapy.

The best thing to do with summer flu is to act quickly as soon as the first symptoms appear. A salt rinse of the nose is very suitable. This soothes the mucous membranes and disinfects due to the high salt content. A nasal spray with seawater can also help to moisten the mucous membranes.

As with the cold in winter, vitamins are beneficial to strengthen the immune system and get rid of the summer flu as quickly as possible. These include vitamin Czinc and magnesium in particular. It would help if you drank a lot, preferably teajuices and mineral water – but no drinks too cold.

Which home remedies help with summer flu?

The following home remedies can provide relief from summer flu:

  • Significantly positive effects are attributed to the ginger root, which strengthens the immune system. Pour boiling water over four to five slices of ginger. Drink this as a tea.
  • Chamomile tea and sage tea are anti-inflammatory – best as a gargle solution.
  • Fever can be treated well with calf wraps or sweating with elderflower or lime blossom tea.

Regardless of home remedies for summer flu, the following applies: the body needs rest to recover.

 

Eight tips to avoid summer flu

The following tips can help prevent summer flu:

  1. Do not quench your thirst with ice-cold drinks straight from the fridge.
  2. Drink at least two to three litres a day.
  3. Avoid drafts and air conditioning systems that are set very cool.
  4. Avoid too much sun. This weakens the immune system.
  5. Only wear wet or sweaty clothing for a short time.
  6. Exercise in the fresh air is highly recommended. This allows the body to replenish the vitamin D stores.
  7. Exercise regularly to stay fit. This strengthens the immune system.
  8. Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruit and vegetables. Apples, kiwis, grapefruit and peppers contain a lot of vitamin C.

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