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Why do more people seem to get sick in the winter?

Virus Outbreak Flu vs Coronavirus
Posted at 12:55 PM, Dec 21, 2022

Every year, it seems like more people are getting sick as the temperature drops. This winter, the U.S. is dealing with a "tripledemic" of COVID-19, flu and RSV.

New research says it's not a coincidence when people get sick in the winter months.

A study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology says the body's antiviral immune defense in the nose does not work as well when it's cold.

“When it gets colder, it turns out our nasal passages can't keep viruses out as well as they can when it's warmer,” Lee Ann Hamilton, assistant director for Health Promotion and Preventive Services at the University of Arizona, told Scripps station KGUN9.

Hamilton adds that there are other contributing factors to people getting sick in the winter.

“We're indoors and around others more," she said.

There are things people can do to avoid getting sick. The Centers for Disease Control recommends getting vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19. Other best practices include washing your hands, wearing a mask and keeping your hands away from your eyes, mouth and nose.