The cold can have direct and indirect effects on health. For example, it can cause or worsen certain health problems. The following pages describe the possible effects of cold temperatures and what you can do to prevent their consequences.

Air Quality

In winter, a number of factors can affect air quality in homes. These include the presence of mould caused by moisture or the improper use of fuel-burning appliances, such as wood-burning stoves or propane heaters. Outdoor air quality can also be poor during winter, especially when a smog warning is in effect. Air pollutants can affect the entire population’s health. For more details, read the following pages:


Many Quebecers go abroad on vacation during winter. If you are one of these people, find out how to prevent certain health problems.

Flu and Gastroenteritis

Some viruses that circulate in Québec every year are more common in winter. They include the flu (influenza) and gastroenteritis, two highly contagious infections. They can be prevented by taking simple hygiene measures, such as washing your hands. To find out more, read the following pages: