Days of exposure to dry air, like the type your air-conditioner produces, could make you vulnerable to nasty summer viruses. So no, you are not unbreakable like our favourite character Kimmy Schmidt.
According to the National Asthma Council, “very dry air increases the prospect of catching viruses like colds and flu. This is possibly due to both the viruses’ ability to survive longer in dry cool conditions and irritated nasal passages making it easier to catch them.”
An air-conditioning system won’t transmit a virus, but the conditions it creates might make you more susceptible to one. And at this time of year, the types of viruses you could catch often have symptoms that will drag on longer than the third season of House of Cards.
Infectious disease expert Bruce Hirsh told the Wall Street Journal “a winter cold is nasty, brutish and short but a summer cold tends to linger.” He said they could go on for weeks and reoccur.
So, why does a summer cold always seem to be more painful than their winter counterparts? That’s because they are often caused by different viruses.
Rhinoviruses are often responsible for winter colds but it’s enteroviruses that can take us down in summer. That take down can often include gastro symptoms.
According to research published in the Emerging Infectious Disease journal, “rhinoviruses are restricted to the respiratory tract, whereas enteroviruses infect primarily the gastrointestinal tract. This can spread to other sites such as the central nervous system.”
So before you go off the grid, you might want to make sure you’ve got your house in order.
Here’s what you can do to stop your TV binge turning into a month-long bug:
- Stay hydrated. The heightened infection risk exists when the mucous membranes of your throat and mouth dry out
- Get some fresh air every now and then. Ventilation and outside air will help
- We understand you might want to spread the love and invite someone over to share in your couch time but because we know how easily germs can spread, make sure your guest isn’t carrying any
- Keep up your hygiene habits! Don’t forget to wash your hands … you could also shower between seasons
- Has your kitchen become a candy bar? Snacks make movies better yes, but your best defence against a virus is a strong immune system. You need to make room for some vegetables on your menu (no, popcorn doesn’t count)
- When the credits roll on the series finale, take yourself off to bed. Being well rested will help keep you healthy.
If you don’t escape a summer cold (or from Litchfield …), you can book a House Call Doctor online or by calling 13 55 66.