Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Ubial cautioned the public to take steps to avoid common seasonal illnesses that could ruin one’s holidays.
Ubial said the cold season brings with it runny noses, cough, sore throat, and fever, all symptoms of respiratory tract infections that affect young and old alike, particularly in rainy weather.
“Kung malamig, magdagdag tayo ng isusuot natin (If it is cold, we have to warm ourselves by layering our clothes),” she said in an interview, noting the importance of wearing jackets as protection against the cold.
She also advised everyone to use umbrellas as protection against rain, especially when attending the “Simbang Gabi” or the dawn masses or when attending parties late at night.
Over-exposure to cold and the lack of protective clothing could lower the body’s immunity or ability to fight illnesses, Ubial said.
One should also stay away from those showing symptoms of flu, she said, noting that sneezing and coughing can spread the virus. Those who have flu symptoms need to cover their noses and mouths when they sneeze and cough.
They also need to isolate themselves, stay at home, take a rest, get lots of sleep and drink lots of fluid, especially water, she said, emphasizing that those who feel ill should immediately seek medical attention and avoid crowded places until they recover.
Getting flu and pneumonia shots during this season would also be a great help, especially for the elderly, she added.