Medical - 7. "Avoid catching a cold" | Lectures for Foreign Students on Disaster Control | JPSS, the information site of studying in Japan

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Lectures for Foreign Students on Disaster Control

"Avoid catching a cold"

We have four seasons in Japan. The winter period of December, January and February, is the coldest among all seasons. Students from countries with hot climate would enjoy the snowfall in winter. Yet, during the winter time, temperature may sink to 10 to 20 degrees below zero in some region, while in summer the temperature gets over 35 degrees Celsius. Students who are not accustomed to cold weather could get sick soon, for not knowing when to start wearing winter clothes, or how to protect against cold.

Now, let's check the following points about protection against cold.

In winter, we often see students who are not accustomed to the cold, dressed lightly for not having thick coats or not knowing when to change clothes and get ready for the cold. Even if you think that your will endure a bit of cold weather, your body could be in a vulnerable condition against the cold virus. When you feel a little cold, which is the sign from your body of its vulnerability, you need to start taking measures against the cold.

1. Temperature and humidity in rooms

When the winter is very cold, you might raise the temperature of your room extremely high with heating apparatus. But it will make your body lose resistance to disease and you could get sick easily. Also from the point of environmental and economical view, it is advisable to set the temperature of the heating apparatus at 20 to 22 degrees Celsius. Moreover, the air gets dry in winter. Because the cold virus gets active in dry condition, try to keep the humidity of your room at 50 to 60 percents by using a humidifier or hanging wet towels in your room.

2. Socks and scarves

To keep your feet and neck warm eases coldness. Put on socks also when you are indoors, and if you still feel cold, scarves or towel around your neck will help.

3. Wash your hands and gargle

Never forget to wash your hands with soap and gargle when you get back from outside. If you have a sore throat, gargle will help you ease the pain.

4. Not to feel chilly after taking a bath

After taking a shower, moisture deprives your body of heat when your wet body becomes dry, which is called a chill after bath. Wipe off your body immediately after a shower and dress appropriately even if you feel warm from taking a bath.

The further points to remember for your health are the followings; avoid cold foods and beverages, put on mask in the crowd, and build up your strength with moderate exercise so that you can keep your condition well. In addition, if you feel sick, please don't hesitate to go to hospital. Trying to save money could exacerbate your symptom to cost more medical expenses.


One common infectious disease in winter is the "Influenza". It is highly contagious which infects from animals to person, from person to person in a grand scale. When catching the infection, it causes you fever of higher than 38 degrees, headaches, pain all over your body, sore throat or snivel. In the most serious cases, it could even lead one to death. Low humidity is the appropriate climate for the influenza virus, which is the reason why it becomes active in the dry winter.


It is said that a person becomes infected through drop infection such as cough or sneeze, or by touching (touching one's nose, mouth or eyes after touching any object on which virus adheres). To protect yourself against infection, it is important to wash your hands and gargle. It is also important to keep one's condition by taking enough nutrition and enough sleep.

Other useful items
  • 1-1. If you have been out, wash hands and gargle always after coming back. When washing hands, froth up the soap and wash well between the fingers, fingertips, nails, the back of your hands and wrists. Moreover, don't forget to wash your hands before cooking or eating.
  • 1-2. Try not to touch your nose, mouth and eyes, for it is highly possible you to be infected through mucous membrane.
  • 1-3. Refrain from going out to crowded places if you don't have the urgent need.
  • 1-4. Take well-balanced diet everyday and sleep well so that you can keep your condition.

In addition, wearing mask in the crowd by way of prevention is effective inside the very crowded vehicles or in a closed room with poor ventilation where people get near to each other. However, it is said that wearing mask outdoors or in spaces where people have enough distance is not that effective. Wearing mask is useful to prevent droplet infection when a person has cough or sneeze symptom.


If you catch any kind of bad symptoms such as fever, headache, a sore throat or snivel, and think that you have contracted influenza, please call a hospital (the department of internal medicine) nearby and explain your symptom and follow the instruction of the doctor how to get the treatment. It will help you to know the location of the hospital nearby, its phone number and its office hours. It is also important to have the information about the hospital and the window open on holidays and during night hours.

A newer strain of influenza is spreading around the world.. If you have symptom of the influenza or if you have met somebody who has contracted influenza and you think it is possible that you are infected, please contact the fever consultation office set up in your district by phone and ask how to get a medical examination or to consult a doctor.

In the case of having cough or sneeze, please refrain from going out if you don't have the urgent need, and wear mask and be careful not to infect other people.


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