Winter is almost officially here (mark your calendars for December 21st), and with it comes a lot of great stuff. Holidays with friends and family, fun activities like ice skating, skiing and snowshoeing, and gorgeous, peaceful snowfalls are some of the great things we have to look forward to here in our great state of New York. 

But we can’t  forget what else “Old Man Winter” tends to bring us - hacking, coughing, sneezing, and sniffles. Unfortunately, getting sick in the wintertime comes with the territory this time of year. Is there anything we can really do about it?

It turns out, yes! If you know what illnesses to look out for and how to avoid them, you can keep yourself healthy throughout the season and avoid spreading your sickness to others.

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Why do people tend to get more sick in the winter?

It’s not just an old wives tale - the cold winter weather really does make us more likely to get sick. 

 Matthew Goldman, MD, a family physician from the Cleveland Clinic, explains

“Illnesses are more common in the winter because contaminated respiratory droplets travel more easily in dry air when an ill person coughs or sneezes. Plus, people tend to gather indoors when it’s cold outside (and for the holidays), making it easier for germs to spread from person to person.” 

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Getting sick this winter isn’t really a big deal, right?

Not so fast. Even if you catch a common illness that’s not considered anything major, you still pose the risk of spreading it to others. For your friends and family with weaker immune systems (like your kids, your parents or grandparents), catching a contagious disease can be dangerous, and can quickly lead to severe complications.

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Besides remaining on high alert, doing your best to avoid germs, and disinfecting your household surfaces often, there are some things you can do to stay healthy this winter. And of course, if you do find yourself under the weather, it’s best to see a doctor to get on your way to getting well. 

Here are some of the most common illnesses that’ll be at their peak this winter, along with tips on avoiding catching or spreading them.

10 Nasty Illnesses You'll See This Winter Across New York

These illnesses will be at their peak this winter all across New York.

Gallery Credit: Canva

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