Winter Sickness

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Infections of seasonal influenza and the norovirus peak during the winter months and can even put the strongest people out of action for several days. Although their symptoms are different, the steps that you can take to prevent the viruses are very similar.

Seasonal Influenza 季節性インフルエンザ

Flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when infected people cough, sneeze or talk; these droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Infection is also possible by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus and then transferring the infection to one’s mouth, nose, or eyes. In most cases you may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.

Common symptoms

  • Sudden high fever (↑38℃)
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Blocked/runny nose
  • Headaches
  • General lethargy and weakness

You can reduce your risk by:

  • Turning your head away from others and covering your mouth & nose with a tissue or forearm (don’t use your bare hand) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wearing a mask when exhibiting symptoms.
  • Immediately throwing away used tissues.
  • Regularly cleaning hands and forearms thoroughly with soap and water, or cleansing them with an alcohol-based hand rub on a regular basis.

Norovirus ノロウイルス

The norovirus (commonly known as the winter vomiting disease) is a highly contagious virus that spreads through contaminated food and water, by contact with objects touched by infected people, and contact with infected people. There is no vaccine to prevent the norovirus infection, and there is no drug to treat people who are sick from the virus. People with the norovirus are contagious from the moment they begin feeling ill until at least 3 days after recovery.

Common symptoms

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain & vomiting for 24 to 48 hours
  • General lethargy and weakness
  • Headaches and a low-grade fever may also occur.

You can reduce your risk by:

  • Regular hand washing
  • Washing fruit and vegetables
  • Disinfection of contaminated surfaces
  • Prompt washing of soiled articles of clothing
  • Heating food to above 85℃ for 1 minute.