Each winter we hear warnings that the NHS is once again in crisis and illnesses definitely seem to be more common in the winter months, but what causes this seasonal phenomenon, and is the cold weather responsible?
Whilst exposure to the cold can directly lead to certain conditions, such as hypothermia – a potentially life-threatening condition when the body’s temperature drops below 35c – the cold weather itself is not directly responsible for increased rates of cold and flu.
One school of thought is that during winter months, people spend more time indoors in warm, dry, under-ventilated environments in close proximity to each other, which could lead to greater transmission of viruses.
How to prevent winter colds
Whilst at home or at work with the heating on, remember to ensure the building is still well ventilated, ensure trickle vents are open or air the room once a day. It is important to maintain a good circulation or fresh air as research has shown that good ventilation and high indoor relative humidity can render the influenza A virus inactive.
Another explanation for the increase in colds and flu during winter is that lower temperatures could weaken the nose’s first line of immune defence. Researchers found that by exposing mice to a strain of rhinovirus and testing how well the cells in the mouse’s airways fought off the infection, cooler temperatures meant a more sluggish immune response and a greater susceptibility to infection.
Whatever the reason, there is little dispute that colds and flu are much more prevalent during winter. Maintaining a thorough and rigorous cleaning regime is the best way to ensure that cold and flu do not spread throughout your workplace.
CCS are the leading experts in cleaning and infection control in Bath, Bristol and across the South West of England. Our expert cleaning staff are thoroughly trained in the most effective infection control measures for offices and schools and can help to reduce the chances of your staff or pupils falling ill this winter.
To learn more about our professional cleaning services, call us on 0800 4488026.