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Flu may be a bit more contagious through frigid forecast

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Jan 20 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 21 2013 05:31:28 PM CST

With a frigid forecast for the next few days, does it increase or decrease your chances of catching the flu?

With a frigid forecast for the next few days, does it increase or decrease your chances of catching the flu?

Dr. David Brock uses hand sanitizer all day long at Patient First in Wyomissing, Berks Co., as he tries to keep the flu symptoms at bay.

The symptoms, he said, are, "fatigue, body aches, high fever, cough, sore throat, congestion, some nausea."

Brock said he's seen way too many patients with the virus in recent weeks.

"It's been a bad year. We've seen a lot more cases this year earlier in the season than usual," said Brock.

Flu season has been worse than normal at the urgent care center, officials said. What impact might the colder weather have on your chances of getting the flu?

"If anything, you may be a little more contagious in colder air," said Brock.

The flu virus, he said, is resilient.

"The flu virus floats in the air, so we catch it by walking into an area where somebody sneezed, coughed or spoken, and it can linger.

"In the colder air, when it's drier and less humid, the virus can stay in the air a little bit longer, actually, as opposed to a hot humid day," said Brock.

There is one good thing about the colder weather we have in store, Brock said.

"The best thing about the cold is people tend to stay in and not mix with other people," said Brock, "So, they're a little less inclined to get sick that way."