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The Occidentalist

The Occidentalist


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Winter Illnesses to Be Aware Of

A look into some of the most common illnesses that occur in the Wintertime.
Graphic Credit: Occidentalist staff


  Winter brings along great times being outside, but some unfortunate parts come with winter: illnesses. Winter illnesses are something students are advised to look out for whether they’re athletes, or if they are someone who spends a lot of time outside. Many students don’t learn about winter illnesses and how the cold weather can affect their bodies. 

  “It’s important for athletes and other people to stay warm during winter so they don’t strain or pull any muscles or tendons, also to prevent cramping. It’s hard to keep a consistent body temperature. You either get heat nauseous or cold nauseous from having your body [temperature] fluctuate greatly. It’s hard to keep your muscles relaxed,” Freshman Audrina Redmond said. 

  Redmond was able to learn about the effect of coldness on bodies through her sports medicine class. Aside from the cold affecting our muscles and the rest of our body, many illnesses are more easy to obtain during the winter, but it’s not the cold that causes the illnesses. 

  “It’s a common misconception that people associate coldness with getting sick. Coldness doesn’t actually make us sick. but there is a huge increase in the number of viruses,” Kate Heydlauff, a biology teacher at WSH said. 

  The most common illnesses in the wintertime are Influenza, the viral cold and Adenovirus. Not only are these illnesses coming back, but also hypothermia is starting to make its comeback. Many other injuries can be caused by the cold itself. Liisa Szarapski is the TCAPS district nurse who informs families and helps students stay safe and healthy throughout the school year, especially in the winter.

  “Another thing to watch out for in the winter are cold-related injuries such as hypothermia and frostbite. Encourage clothing appropriate for outdoor activities, staying inside during excessive cold and wind chill, not wearing wet gloves, boots, or winter clothing,” Szarapski said.

  Hypothermia can be extremely harmful to someone who is prepared or knows of this injury caused by the cold.

  “Hypothermia is when your body temperature lowers. All humans want a constant body temperature of 98 degrees, so your body temperature drops lower than that due to outside circumstances. When that happens, the loss of heat can also affect the internal organs,” Heydlauff said.

  Our bodies can go above temperature, and when the flu or fever comes, it raises your body temperature above its comfortable level. It is important to stay healthy in the winter, for students and families, and there are many possible ways to achieve that.

  “Staying home when actively ill will help slow the spread of many winter illnesses. This would mean if you have a fever you should stay home for 24 hours until the fever is resolved without the use of fever-reducing medication,” Szarapski said.

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About the Contributors
Coral Cravey, Page Designer
Coral Cravey is a freshman this year at WSH. Coral Took newspaper as her love for designing and writing would be of great use. Coral is a reporter on the newspaper team.Outside of school Coral is a swimmer for the TC Tritons swim team here at WSH. Coral interests include being outdoors and activities such as skiing.
Sydney Fleming, Podcast Coordinator, Photographer
Sydney Fleming is a freshman at West Senior High. She is taking the newspaper because she enjoys writing, and wanted to try something new and different from any class she has taken before. Her current position in the newspaper is a writer. Outside of school Sydney is playing softball, working out, or outside.

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