Common Winter Season Diseases: Types, Preventive Measures, & Management

icon-blog By -Dr. Kanika Sharma
icon-blog By -November 6, 2023
  • Home
  • Blogs
  • Common Winter Season Diseases: Types, Preventive Measures, & Management


Common Winter Season Diseases: Types, Preventive Measures, & Management

In the frosty embrace of winter, we encounter a category of ailments known as winter season diseases. Many infectious diseases often thrive in cold weather when people tend to stay indoors. However, with the arrival of warmer weather, as people venture outdoors and ventilate their homes, the prevalence of these diseases decreases. The exact reasons behind these fluctuations are not fully understood, could it be the cold, dry air, or indoor crowding during winter? Identifying the causes of the seasonal patterns of infectious diseases could open avenues for preventive measures. Anticipating the likelihood of pathogen emergence at various times is crucial for formulating successful strategies for prevention from its infection.

As summer transitions to fall doctors typically shift their focus to the approaching winter season, gearing up for potential infections due to winter season diseases, especially influenza. However, in 2020, a new and formidable challenge emerged, the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Despite the uncertainty, there is a hopeful outlook for the development of an effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2.

Don't let winter catch you off guard! Equip yourself with right knowledge about the diseases caused by cold weather to stay safe. If your here to get insight today, take dive into the information presented below to explore the different types of winter diseases, learn proactive preventive measures, and master the art of managing your health during the chilly season.

Common Types of Winter Season Diseases India

Following are some types of winter season diseases prevalent in India

Common Cold

Region Involved: This winter season disease affects your nose, throat, and ears

Cause: It happens when somebody coughs or sneezes near you, or you touch a contaminated surface, like a doorknob. More than 200 viruses can cause cold. The most common one is the rhinovirus.

Symptoms: The symptoms may include runny nose, low-grade fever, scratchy throat, fatigue, chills, aches, sneezing, and coughing

Management: Decongestants, cough syrups, and antihistamines can help to minimize symptoms. Sufficient rest and liquid intake may speed up the recovery

Duration: Few days to weeks

Seek medical attention: If symptoms persist for more than a few days, worsen, or if new symptoms arise.


Region Involved: This winter disease affects your respiratory tract (nose, mouth, throat and lungs)

Cause: You contact the flu through airborne droplets from sneezing or coughing or by touching contaminated surfaces. Flu viruses continually evolve, making flu shots, updated annually, never entirely effective

Symptoms: The symptoms may include exhaustion, fever, body aches, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, and headache. You may vomit or have diarrhea

Management: Rest, hydration, and medication are recommended. In more serious instances, antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu or Relenza might be prescribed to decrease the flu's duration, severity, and the likelihood of complications. It's generally crucial to initiate antiviral treatment within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms for optimal effectiveness.

Duration: Few days to weeks

Seek medical attention: If symptoms persist for more than a few days, worsen, or if new symptoms arise.


Region Involved: This winter season disease affects your respiratory tract (nose, mouth, throat and lungs)

Cause: You contract COVID-19 (COVID) through close person-to-person contact or by inhaling respiratory droplets released when an infected person speaks, coughs, or sneezes

Symptoms: It varies. While certain individuals with COVID-19 exhibit minimal or no symptoms, others may experience a sore throat, congestion, runny nose, fever, or chills. Loss of smell or taste, shortness of breath, and body aches can also occur. Additionally, upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting are potential symptoms.

Management: Isolate yourself and inform your doctor. Most cases can be managed at home. Ensure adequate rest, stay hydrated, and use over-the-counter fever reducers to alleviate symptoms. In severe cases of COVID-19 or in individuals at risk, your doctor might prescribe Paxlovid to reduce the duration, severity, and the likelihood of complications associated with this winter season disease

Duration: For mild to moderate cases, acute COVID-19 symptoms may persist for a week or two, while severe infections can last even longer. Post-COVID symptoms, such as a persistent cough, intermittent fever, weakness, and alterations in your sense of smell or taste, may endure for weeks or even months

Seek medical attention: If you experience trouble breathing, continuous chest pain or pressure, new confusion, difficulty staying awake or waking up, or a bluish tint on your lips or face.

Read in Hindi: Fever Symptoms in Hindi

RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) Infection

Region Involved: This winter disease causes inflammation of respiratory tract and lungs. Individuals at the greatest risk include infants (particularly those born prematurely), children, older adults, individuals with heart and/or lung issues, and those with compromised immune systems.

Cause: Your child could contract this winter season disease by coming into contact with fluids from the nose or mouth of an infected friend. Incidents frequently occur in classrooms, community centers, and childcare facilities

Symptoms: Your child will exhibit symptoms similar to those of a cold, such as a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, reduced appetite, and a mild fever.

Read in Hindi: Loss of Appetite and Causes in Hindi

Management: Offer basic supportive care: Ensure your child receives adequate rest and stays well-hydrated. Keep an eye on their breathing. If necessary, administer over-the-counter children's acetaminophen to alleviate symptoms. RSV vaccines, authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, are accessible for children under the age of 2, adults aged 60 and above, and individuals in the third trimester of pregnancy.

Duration: Few days to weeks

Seek medical attention: Your child may undergo a elevated temperature, a severe cough, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and/or a reduced appetite.


Region Involved: It causes inflammation of bronchi, resulting in too much mucus

Cause: This winter disease happens likely caused by a cold or flu virus, reducing your risk through a flu shot or possibly due to inhaling bacteria. You are particularly vulnerable if you smoke or have allergies, sinusitis, or enlarged tonsils or adenoids. The chronic form of this disease happens due to smoking or irritants like air pollution

Symptoms: It feels like continuous cough that you can't seem to control. It likely began as a dry cough but has progressed to one that produces mucus. You might also be experiencing aches, chills, headaches, a runny nose, a sore throat, shortness of breath, watery eyes, and wheezing.

Management: There isn't much to be done as it typically resolves on its own unless it develops into pneumonia, which can be addressed with antibiotics. In the meantime, using a humidifier, taking cough medicine, and using pain relievers can help alleviate your symptoms

Duration: Few weeks to months

Seek medical attention: If symptoms persist for more than a few days, worsen, or if new symptoms arise.


Region Involved: Infection occurs in your lungs, leading to the accumulation of pus and other fluids in the air sacs

Cause: Around one-third of cases are attributed to viruses, while the remaining two-thirds are caused by bacteria or fungi that are inhaled, especially by individuals weakened by surgery, illness, age, or smoking.

Symptoms: Symptoms of this winter season disease can vary in intensity from mild to severe and may encompass confusion, fever, mucus-producing cough, profuse sweating, shaking chills, reduced appetite, rapid breathing and pulse, escalating shortness of breath during activity, and sharp chest pain exacerbated by coughing or deep breathing.

Management: For viral pneumonia, it's advised to rest, maintain a nutritious diet, and stay well-hydrated. Antibiotics are effective in treating bacterial pneumonia. In either case, medications can help alleviate fever and cough symptoms.

Duration: Few weeks to a month

Seek medical attention: If your cough exacerbates or shows no signs of improvement, if you expel pus during coughing, if a persistent fever surpasses 102 degrees, if you experience shaking chills, or if breathing induces chest pain, it's crucial not to delay seeking medical attention. This is especially important if you have underlying health conditions, such as heart or lung problems.

Whooping Cough

Region Involved: This winter season disease affects respiratory tract

Cause: It is caused by a bacterium named Bordetella pertussis, transmitted through coughing, sneezing, and even breathing.

Symptoms: It begins with symptoms like typical cold and advances to include bouts of coughing that conclude with a distinctive whooping sound as you struggle for breath. Additional symptoms encompass fever, sneezing, a runny nose, and watery eyes.

Management: Early treatment of this winter season disease with antibiotics, potentially diminishing the infection and lowering your contagiousness. Keep warm, stay well-hydrated, and minimize exposure to factors that trigger coughing, such as smoke or dust.

Duration: Up to 10 weeks

Seek medical attention: When you suspect to have this infection

Preventive Measures for Winter Season Diseases 

Following measures can help you to stay safe from Winter Season Diseases:

  • To ward off germs and bacteria, practice frequent handwashing throughout the day.
  • Take regular breaks to rest and stay hydrated with ample fluids.
  • Maintain a safe distance from individuals with a cold and avoid sharing personal items like clothing, blankets, handkerchiefs, etc.
  • Engage in regular exercise to enhance immunity.
  • Ensure that everyone in your family receives their annual flu vaccination.
  • If you feel unwell, promptly consult a doctor.
  • Consume warm water to support well-being.
  • Always remember to wash your hands after using the restroom.
  • Adhere to a nutritious diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Dress warmly and minimize exposure to cold conditions whenever possible.
  • Consider genetic testing to assess susceptibility to winter season diseases.

To Summarize

With the arrival of winter, the cases of diseases or illnesses caused by cold weather  also rise. So, being careful and doing things to prevent it is most important. Taking precautions, including stringent hygiene practices, and avoiding contact with potential carriers is critically important. Immediate quarantine measures, as well as early detection and treatment, can be helpful. 

Sometimes, people say things that aren't true, so it's really important to get the right information and not to fall prey to false information. Instead, trust Medflick as your reliable guide for accurate, up-to-date, and trustworthy information on winter season diseases and other health concerns. Your health and well-being deserve nothing less than informed and responsible guidance.


Need Assistance?

Stay Informed, Stay Healthy

Subscribe to our Newsletter and make your informed health decisions. Get essential health insights and updates delivered straight to your inbox. Join now for a healthier you.