Winter increases incidence of respiratory diseases | SEGS

Specialists warn about necessary care and symptomatic similarities with Covid-19

With the arrival of winter, sudden changes in temperature, low air humidity and increased air pollution are factors that contribute to the high incidence of respiratory diseases and the transmission of flu and colds, as well as other bacteria and viruses. During this period, one of the main preventive measures against covid-19, such as the use of a mask, is also essential to contain airway diseases. Doctors also warn that it is necessary to be aware of the symptoms between these diseases and covid-19.

“Using a mask always helps to reduce any transmission of disease that is transmitted through the airways. The cold and covid-19, for example, are droplet-borne diseases. Using a mask, we were able to create a barrier method and reduce transmission from person to person”, teaches Marcos de Abreu, Fundação São Francisco Xavier pulmonologist.

The doctor explains that people with respiratory diseases suffer a lot according to seasonality, especially in winter and dry seasons. “In every year, these diseases have their incidence increased during this period. It is very important to exclude what is a respiratory disease, due to coronavirus infection”, he says.

The doctor advises that it is essential to be aware of symptoms that are similar to the new coronavirus and can confuse patients. In the case of suspected covid-19, it is advisable to watch for warning signs such as progressive respiratory distress (shortness of breath) and persistent fever, in addition to loss of smell and taste. When in doubt, the patient should seek medical assistance, either through telemedicine or an official covid-19 service application.

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According to the pulmonologist, dry air leaves the airways also dry. At

In an attempt to compensate for this aggression to the airway, more mucus is produced and mucus itself is where there can be a secondary infection.

To prevent and alleviate cases of respiratory diseases in winter, Dr. Marcos de Abreu teaches that it is necessary to hydrate and keep the environment clean. “One of the main ways to help with prevention is the ingestion of liquids, mainly water and washing the airway with saline solution. Inside the house we can leave a basin with water, a wet towel or even use humidifiers. Keeping the environment always clean and airy is essential.


Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the bronchi, making breathing difficult and can result in crises and shortness of breath. According to the WHO, asthma affects around 300 million people worldwide and 20 million in Brazil alone.

According to the pulmonologist, asthma is one of the most common respiratory diseases and tends to get worse with winter. “The dry and cold period contributes to asthma attacks,” he said

“An important fact for asthma control is the correct use of medication, using the proper technique for each inhalation device and adherence to treatment.” And adds. “Those who do not use the medication correctly, or even suspend control, may return to the clinics and offices frequently or even need emergency care”, he comments.


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