Health: flu, gastro, colds… How are winter diseases caught and transmitted?


Health: flu, gastro, colds… How are winter diseases caught and transmitted?
Written by madishthestylebar

the essential
Are you worried about catching a contagious disease this winter? Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself against the viruses that are actively circulating during this period.

France is faced with the rapid spread of several viruses and diseases, such as the flu or gastroenteritis. The Dispatch summarizes the methods of transmission of these infections and the means of protection.

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The flu virus, or influenza, refers to an infectious disease that can cause cough, fever, fatigue, chills, headaches, body aches…

And the flu is very easy to catch: it is transmitted by microdroplets containing viruses emitted when you cough, sneeze, or even breathe, as the Institut Pasteur explains. Hence the need to wear a mask in case of contamination. And these microdroplets, if they can contaminate you by entering your nose or your mouth, can also be deposited on several surfaces, where the viruses can survive for up to 24 hours. You can therefore transmit this virus through your hands by touching already contaminated surfaces.

It is therefore necessary to respect barrier gestures and avoid crowded places such as metros; Although the virus is generally non-lethal, it causes several deaths each year in people at risk, especially the elderly.


Gastroenteritis is the consequence of the action of a virus or bacteria. It is an inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract. It causes diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting.

In the case of the viral version, several viruses can be at work according to PasseportSanté: rotavirus is most common in children, while norovirus affects many adults. These viruses are transmitted after touching a contagious person or contaminated surfaces and then touching your hands to your face without disinfecting them. It is therefore necessary to wash your hands regularly and avoid proximity to contaminated people.

As for bacterial infection, which is less common, it occurs following the ingestion of certain foods and water contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella.

A cold

The common cold is a nasal disease caused by several viruses, including rhinoviruses. They cause, among other things, sneezing, stuffy and runny nose, headache, fatigue and cough.

The viruses attach themselves to the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth, eyes, and are transmitted in the same way as the flu: by inhaling droplets or through the contact of your hands with contaminated surfaces before bringing them to the face. . As with other diseases, it is advisable to wash your hands, avoid places with too much crowding, but also to avoid air that is too dry and tobacco, as Health recommends: these weaken the mucous membranes of the nose and throat and therefore facilitate contamination.


The little “new” seasonal epidemic, Covid-19, comes from the family of coronaviruses. The rather long incubation can range from 3 to 14 days. As for the symptoms, they vary enormously depending on the condition of the person affected: we find sore throat, fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, runny nose, loss of smell or taste…

According to the Ministry of Solidarity, the virus is transmitted via the famous droplets which enter the mucous membranes, but also by aerosol. This term refers to particles even smaller than droplets and suspended in the air, which are stopped by the masks. The virus is very contagious: it is necessary to protect oneself from it by respecting barrier gestures and safety distances, which reduce the risks in closed spaces and make contamination in the outside air unlikely.

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