What Illnesses Are Common During the Holiday Season?

The holiday season has arrived in the Athens area once more, and we are so excited to get started celebrating. No matter what holidays you observe or how you choose to celebrate, chances are that you will be spending a lot more time with friends and family at this time of year.

All of this extra time means that the risk of getting sick increases as well, which can be problematic and can interrupt your holiday season in an instant. Easily transmissible illnesses can quickly spread through entire parties!

Our AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN team wants you to stay as healthy as possible this year, so read on to learn how to avoid certain illnesses and conditions.

What Infections Are Common During the Winter?

Any contagious infection has a higher potential to spread quickly through dense populations. That’s why colds, the flu, strep and COVID-19 caseloads all skyrocket at this time of year. While it is not possible to completely avoid coming into contact with these different viruses, you can take care of your body every day to help reduce your risk of getting sick. Eat healthy, drink enough water and prioritize sleep.

Seven to nine hours of quality sleep every night will boost your immune system to fight off infections more easily. You should also wash your hands often, and limit the amount of time spent in large groups or at gatherings. A single infected person may not practice proper handwashing and could spread the virus to every doorknob, light switch or serving utensil at that party.

Health Tips for the Season

  • Bundle up when it is cold outside.
  • Get your flu vaccine.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Wear your seatbelt while traveling.

What About Foodborne Illnesses?

You may not think about this category of illness as often, but it becomes especially prevalent at this time of year when the pot lucks and dinner parties begin! Your risk for being exposed to a foodborne illness increases every time you go to a party that has food sitting out for a long period of time.

Did you know that dangerous bacteria can start to grow on perishable food that has been sitting out for as little as two hours? Serve your meals right away when they are done cooking, and clean up leftovers as soon as everyone is done eating. A good rule of thumb is to toss any food that has been sitting out for two hours.

Kitchen Safety Tips to Follow

  • Use designated cutting boards for raw meat and produce.
  • Wash hands before handling food.
  • Don’t cook for others when you aren’t feeling well.
  • Understand specific allergies or dietary restrictions for those attending your party.

We wish you a safe and happy holiday season! Come see us at AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN if you aren’t feeling well.