Don’t let the flu get the best of you

 

The power of the flu virus should not be underestimated. Now that it has spread to 47 of our 50 states, it’s a good time to learn about the precautionary steps that will help protect you and your family from getting the flu this year.

Influenza, otherwise known as the flu, can spread quickly from person to person causing symptoms ranging from body aches, fatigue and a fever to a sore throat and nausea.

Schools are a breeding ground for germs and viruses. Everywhere you go whether it’s the library or the gym or the computer lab, germs live everywhere. The answer to avoid getting sick this year does not mean that you have to turn into a hobbit and never leave your dorm room. However, there is a silver-lining to this situation which is that prevention of the flu is relatively simple and begins by taking basic steps:

Getting vaccinated-This season’s flu vaccine is well matched to the circulating strains and there’s still some available Remember, it’s never too late to protect yourself from the flu.

Keep your hands to yourself- Common public fixtures, such as door knobs, railings and cell phones are generally the most common touch points where people can pick up the flu virus. When washing your hands, a quick rinse under the faucet won’t do the trick, so be sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water for 15-30 seconds before eating or touching your eyes and nose.

Take a sick day– If you are sick with a flu-like illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you stay at home or in your dorm for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone before returning to your regular daily activities to prevent spreading the virus to others. But before you use and abuse your right to skip class, make sure that you are really feeling under the weather and visit the health center for a check-up.

Fight the flu with food, drink and rest- A strong immune system is one way to combat the flu virus. A healthy diet filled with vegetables, fruits and grains is a great way to maintain your body’s nutrition. In addition, getting adequate amounts of water and rest can help your immune system function at an optimal level to help ward off any illness.

Flu vaccine myth debunked

Among the variety of myths that are out there, one of the most common things people fear about getting a vaccine is that they will get sick afterward.

The flu vaccine contains an inactive flu virus; because of this, you cannot be infected. Although the flu vaccination cannot fully shield you from getting sick, it’s one of the best ways to avoid getting the flu this year.

 

—Maria Londino

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