Colder weather affects viruses, including COVID-19


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Colder weather is upon us, and that means West Virginians have a higher chance of getting the cold or flu…but how does this compare with the coronavirus?

The winter months bring snow and cold to the region, but also typically brings the common cold and influenza viruses. This year, the coronavirus is here with both of them.

Gov. Jim Justice receiving a flu shot at one of his Daily Press Briefings on October 2, 2020.

Dr. Mark Povroznik, the Chairman of Infection Control and Chief Quality Officer at United Hospital Center in Bridgeport, says viruses are more prevalent when the temperature drops, with dry air right behind it.

“Lower humidity can dry out our mucus membrane and slow down that normal cilia motion in our nasal passages that sweep out debris and allow for viruses to take a better hold,” said Povroznik.

And, because of the dry and cold weather, we tend to stay indoors during the winter months; however, in the age of social distancing and COVID-19, this can be a bit of a challenge for our health.

“As we go in the colder months, when we commune more closely, that is a greater opportunity for viral spread,” said Povroznik.

Povroznik also says the crisp, dry air and our weakened mucus prevention spreads the viruses even further, especially with the similarities between the cold and flu, and COVID-19.

Courtesy: NBC News

“Symptoms onset for both of these can be one-to-two days prior to having any symptoms.  We can also say that both are highly contagious,” Povroznik said.

And, the viruses can all be spread the same way, as well.

“We always have to keep in our minds that it can be transmitted by our hands to our face,” said Povroznik.

Regardless of the virus, health officials say we have to practice good hand hygiene, wear our masks, and socially distance to help stop the spread, and to keep us all happy and healthy.

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