Winter illnesses and how to deal with them

Winter illnesses and how to deal with them

Some health problems, such as asthma, sore throat and cold sores, are triggered or worsened by cold weather. Here is how to deal with cold weather ailments.

Colds: You can help prevent colds by washing your hands regularly. This destroys bugs that you may have picked up from touching surfaces used by other people, such as light switches and door handles. It is also important to keep the house and any household items such as cups, glasses and towels clean, especially if someone in your house is ill.

Sore throat: Sore throats are common in winter and are almost always caused by viral infections. There is some evidence that changes in temperature, such as going from a warm, centrally heated room to the icy outdoors, can also affect the throat.

Asthma: Cold air is a major trigger of asthma symptoms such as wheezing and shortness of breath. People with asthma should be especially careful in winter. Stay indoors on very cold, windy days. If you do go out, wear a scarf loosely over your nose and mouth. Be extra vigilant about taking your regular medications, and keep reliever inhalers close by.

Norovirus: Also known as the winter vomiting bug, norovirus is an extremely infectious stomach bug. It can strike all year round, but is more common in winter and in places such as hotels, hospitals, nursing homes and schools. The illness is unpleasant, but it is usually over within a few days. When people are ill with vomiting and diarrhoea, it is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.

Painful joints: Many people with arthritis say their joints become more painful and stiff in winter. There is no evidence that changes in the weather cause joint damage. Daily exercise can boost a person's mental and physical state. Swimming is ideal as it is easy on the joints.

Cold sores: Most of us recognise that cold sores are a sign that we are run down or under stress. While there is no cure for cold sores, you can reduce the chances of getting one by looking after yourself through winter.

Heart attacks: Heart attacks are more common in winter. This may be because cold weather increases blood pressure and puts more strain on the heart. Your heart also has to work harder to maintain body heat when it is cold. Stay warm in your home. Wrap up warm when you go out and wear a hat, scarf and gloves.

Cold hands and feet: Raynaud's phenomenon is a common condition that makes your fingers and toes change colour and become very painful in cold weather. Fingers can go white, then blue, then red, and throb and tingle. The small blood vessels of the hands and feet go into spasm, temporarily reducing blood flow to your hands and feet. In severe cases, medication can help, but most people manage to live with their symptoms.

Dry skin: Dry skin is a common condition and is often worse during the winter, when environmental humidity is low. Moisturising is essential during winter. Contrary to popular belief, moisturising lotions and creams are not absorbed by the skin. Instead, they act as a sealant to stop the skin's natural moisture evaporating away. The best time to apply moisturiser is after a bath or shower while your skin is still moist, and again at bedtime.

Flu: Flu can be a major killer of vulnerable people. People aged 65 and over, pregnant women and people with long-term health conditions, including diabetes, kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are particularly at risk. The best way to prevent getting flu is to have the flu jab (or flu nasal spray for children aged 2 to 17). The flu vaccine gives good protection against flu and lasts for one year.

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Maulana Saad returns to India

Maulana Saad returns to India

He left Dhaka by a flight of Indian Jet Airways around 10:00am, sources at the immigration of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport said.

could not attend this year's Biswa Ijtema that began on the bank of Turag river, on the outskirts of Dhaka, yesterday.

Saad arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday to attend the Biswa Ijtema amid street protests in front of the airport.

As the protesters, mostly students and teachers of Qawmi madrasas, blocked the entrance to the VIP terminal to prevent him from coming out of the airport, law enforcers escorted him through another exit and took him to Kakrail mosque.

The protesters chanted slogans against him for what they claimed were his “controversial comments about the Koran and Sunnah” to audiences in India.

The first phase of the congregation ends tomorrow while the second phase of Ijtema will be held from January 19 to 21.

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Maulana Saad won't attend Biswa Ijtema

Maulana Saad won't attend Biswa Ijtema

In the face of stern opposition from a faction of Tabligh Jamaat, the movement's top leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi will keep clear of this year's Biswa Ijtema and will likely go back to India today.

The decision came at a two-hour meeting between the feuding factions of Tabligh Jamaat and officials from home and religious affairs ministries and police at the home ministry yesterday afternoon. Representatives from the Awami League and some top Islamic clerics were also present.

Maulana Saad will not attend the Ijtema. He will be staying at Kakrail mosque and go back to India at his convenient time," Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told journalists after the meeting.

The first phase of the congregation begins today and ends on Sunday.

Asked if the dispute in the Tabligh leadership came to an end, Kamal, who convened the meeting, said, “We have come to know the main reason behind the feud. We are in talks with top Islamic clerics of the country to find a solution.

Saad arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday to attend the Biswa Ijtema amid street protests in front of the Shahjalal International Airport.

As the protesters, mostly students and teachers of Qawmi madrasas, blocked the entrance to the VIP terminal to prevent him from coming out of the airport, law enforcers escorted him through another exit and took him to Kakrail mosque.

The demonstrators, mostly belonging to radical Islamist group Hefajat-e Islam-run Qawmi madrasas, blocked the busy Airport Road to protest his arrival. They also chanted slogans against him for what they claimed were his “controversial comments about the Koran and Sunnah” to audiences in India.

The seven-hour blockade since 9:00am paralysed the traffic system in the northern part of the capital, causing immense public suffering throughout Wednesday.

Contacted, Awami League's Religious Affairs Secretary Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, who attended yesterday's meeting, said some of the statements by Saad created a commotion among Muslims as they were “contrary to the Islamic law”.

We had no other option but to make the decision [to keep Saad away from Ijtema] as 26,000 Qawmi madrasas and most Alems and Olemas took a stance against him,” he told The Daily Star last night.

It is not clear who will conduct the Akheri Munajat or the final supplication in the absence of Saad, who offered the final prayers at the Ijtema in the last two years.

The home minister said top Tabligh scholars will make the decision.

Having failed to prevent his arrival in Dhaka, Hefajat leaders, who led the protest on Wednesday, announced a blockade of Kakrail mosque to prevent Saad from joining Biswa Ijtema, the largest Islamic congregation after Hajj.

Police had been guarding the mosque, considered the headquarters of Tabligh Jamaat's Bangladesh chapter, since his arrival.

Meanwhile, thousands of devotees from different districts of Bangladesh, and foreign countries have already gathered at the venue to join the first phase of Ijtema amid tight security. Presence of police and Rab members in and around the venue was visible.

The second phase will start on January 19 and end on January 21.

People from Dhaka district and abroad will be able to join in either phase.

Tabligh Jamaat has been organising Biswa Ijtema, also called the World Muslims' Congregation, every year since 1946.

In 2011, the organisers split the congregation into two phases to deal with overcrowding, ensure better management and security.

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