You’ve been looking forward to it all year. Now that you’re finally surrounded by snow-capped mountains and white slopes, of course you want to enjoy the holiday fun to the fullest. So you get up early to hit the slopes until it’s time for drinks at the après ski bar at the end of your ski day. This pretty much becomes your routine for the next few days until you notice that your throat is starting to feel sore, your nose stuffy and your muscles are starting to ache. So, in an effort to ignore the obvious, you layer up with warm clothes. The end of the week is in sight but instead of feeling well rested and invigorated, you feel like you’re coming down with something. There’s nothing worse than getting the flu, especially on a winter sports holiday.
Is it a cold or the flu? How to tell the difference!
Sore throat, runny nose, sniffles, cough – it’s easy to mistake cold symptoms for flu symptoms. This is because pathogens like cold viruses can trigger flu-like symptoms. However, we only speak of the flu if you have contracted the influenza virus.
The symptoms of the common cold include:
Runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, sneezing, low-grade fever, coughing, headache, tiredness, watery eyes and ear pain.
Symptoms of the flu include:
Dry cough, fever, cold tremors, sore throat and a runny nose. Other signs of the flu are extended periods of extreme fatigue, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, headache and stiff or aching joints and muscles.
Although some flu symptoms overlap with those of a cold, there are also differences. You could say that the common cold is a mild form of the flu. The influenza virus will knock you down for at least a week, whereas most people can generally still function when they have a cold.
Avoiding the flu:
It’s almost impossible to avoid getting sick with the flu. This is because the flu virus is highly contagious and spreads easily. But there are some things you can do to reduce the chance of infection during winter sports holidays:
- Make sure you eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables while on vacation: a body that is in good physical condition has a stronger immune system and is therefore better able to fight off viruses. Mind you, a healthy diet is more than just the apples in your ‘Apfelstrudel’ and the occasional side salad.
- Make sure you drink sufficient fluids. And that includes drinking plenty of water. Staying hydrated is important because this will help clear the toxics in your body, which in turn helps prevent the virus from nestling in body cells.
- Sleep as much as possible. Winter sports holidays are intensive and physically demanding, often with little time for rest and relaxation. Most people are more active than their bodies are accustomed to. Sufficient sleep is the basis for good health and will reduce your chances of catching a cold.
- Wash your hands regularly and use a clean paper towel to dry your them. Sharing towels can help spread germs and increase the chance of infection.
- Pack enough warm clothes and dress warmly. When your body gets too cold you are more susceptible to the influenza virus. This is because your body needs more energy to stay warm, while it needs this energy to fight off infection. Put your ski clothes on the radiator to dry and pack a second set of clothes, just in case. This way, you won’t have to go skiing in wet clothes the next day.
What to do if you get the flu on your winter sports holiday anyway?
Falling ill can put a damper on your holiday, especially when you’ve already paid for expenses such as ski passes or rental equipment. Not to mention the disappointment of not feeling fit enough to take to the slopes and making the most of this active vacation. Being in bed with the flu can really ruin your holiday. Rest up How difficult it may be to take it easy during your winter sports holiday, you will get better quicker if you rest properly. Don’t keep skiing or snowboarding if you have a fever. It’s especially important to get into bed those first few days of coming down with the flu. Not just for your own good, but also for the people around you. This is because you are most contagious in the first five days after symptoms start.
Drink plenty of water and try to eat healthy foods Stay hydrated and replace hot chocolate with tea with honey. If you have a bad sore throat, you probably won’t have much of an appetite. Nevertheless, you should still try to eat something nutritious. Difficulty swallowing? Try liquid foods such as soup, porridge or yoghurt. Soft and liquid foods are easier to swallow than solid pieces. This way, your weakened immune system will still get the nutrients it needs to fight off illness.
Prevention is better than cure. Do you have the flu and are you feeling too weak and fatigued to see your GP? Then perhaps an online doctor’s consultation is the solution for you. You can consult a doctor via Dokteronline.com.
Griep. (2019, 19 december). Geraadpleegd op 7 februari 2020, van https://www.rivm.nl/griep-griepprik/griep
Marco Visser. (2018, 7 februari). Carnaval en een griepepidemie, dat klinkt als een snotterige cocktail. Geraadpleegd op 7 februari 2020, van https://www.trouw.nl/nieuws/carnaval-en-een-griepepidemie-dat-klinkt-als-een-snotterige-cocktail~b16ae3f2/?referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F%20
Verkoudheid en/of griep voorkomen? 11 tips! (z.d.). Geraadpleegd op 7 februari 2020, van https://www.quingo.nl/nieuwsblog/verkoudheid-en-of-griep-voorkomen-11-tips/