Autumn illnesses

There are times during the autumn and winter that many people suffer from various illnesses. The cold and sudden change of weather makes our immune system more vulnerable. Being in crowded places, public spaces, or public transportation increases your chances to get infected as you touch surfaces that could have germs on.

Thus, it is important that we always wash our hands after being outside, in order to prevent illnesses from spreading and protect ourselves.

Who should be particularly careful?

People with chronic health conditions, people over 65 years old, very young children, and pregnant women, or anyone who has a low immune system should be aware of ways of prevention and get treatments as soon as they get infected.

Common cold

It is very common to catch a cold when the weather changes suddenly and it becomes colder, or when you don’t dress appropriately during very cold days.

Among the symptoms are a runny nose, a sore throat, and a cough. Normally it does not need special treatment and it goes away in a couple of weeks. The best thing you can do when you have a cold is get a good rest, sleep longer than usual if possible, eat a healthy diet in order to get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs, and drink fluids.

Moreover, it is useful that you try home remedies such as herbal teas, especially Echinacea and camomile, menthol caramels, a bit of butter in your cup of tea to soften the sore throat, and gargle with salt water.


Elderly people and people with chronic health problems should be extremely careful when it comes to the flu.

In extreme cases, the flu can be even fatal if there is no prevention or immediate treatment. It usually causes high fever, weakness, and general body pain. The best way to avoid it is to get the flu vaccine. If you belong in a group of vulnerable people, you should probably visit your doctor if you have the flu.


The change of the seasons wakens allergies. These may persist until the winter and can be quite unpleasant. People especially vulnerable to outdoor allergies should avoid going out in the mornings. If your symptoms are very intense and severe, you can ask your GP for special medication.


This autoimmune disease becomes aggravated when the weather gets colder and wetter. This causes the symptoms to worsen and the pain becomes more intense. Consider wearing gloves to keep your hands warm, and avoid going out in a very cold weather.


The norovirus is caused by a stomach bug which is very contagious. It causes vomiting and diarrhoea, and it is effective during the whole year but it becomes more infectious during the winter season.

The norovirus is more common in crowded working and living places such as schools, offices and hotels. Although it can be very uncomfortable, the illness does not normally last for more than two days.

Your body will lose a lot of fluids during the illness due to the vomiting, it is important that you stay hydrated. Don’t forget to drink water regularly and eat, preferably something thick and dry to balance your stomach. Wash your hands often in order to prevent the virus from spreading and get lots of rest!

At Barchester we are proud of the lovely and cozy environment we provide in our care homes. We have also put together a fantastic and nutritious menu that will help your immune system guard against possible autumn illnesses.