STUDENT HEALTH: TOP 3 WAYS TO FIGHT THE FLU
THE WORST SEASON IN YEARS
Chances of catching the flu this year are approaching an all-time high. At least 50% of all people will be infected with the flu virus, while 10-15% of everyone will actually get sick with the flu. Fever, headache, sore throat, dry cough, muscle pain and sudden severe fatigue are typical symptoms.
The flu can easily disrupt your life for up to a week or more. Authorities tell us the flu vaccine is especially weak this year, which means it WILL NOT WORK in the vast majority of individuals who receive it. Flu strains are especially virulent, which means they make most people much sicker than in the past.
IF YOU'RE A STUDENT, YOUR RISK IS HIGH
As a college student you face crowded living conditions, shared bathrooms and eating places plus frequent close social contact. All of these greatly increase your risk of picking up the flu from coughs and sneezes. You also have to be aware of contaminated surfaces, -- computers, tables, desks, doorknobs, trays, drinking fountains etc.
Once infected, you're contagious for one or two days before you show obvious symptoms. So you can transmit the flu virus easily before you even start to feel sick.
TOP 3 WAYS TO FIGHT THE FLU
#1. WASH YOUR HANDS Wash your hands with soap and warm water FOR 30 SECONDS. As often as possible, especially after shaking hands with others.
A better solution is an alcohol containing hand spray -- much easier than washing your hands with soap and water. Research shows it must contain over 60% alcohol. You have many choices. I prefer them with added coconut, lemon or lavender. A handy 2 ounce spray usually costs under $10 and will last for up to a week or more.
#2 BUMP ELBOWS This means no shaking hands. The elbow bump is simple and easy. Get in the habit. Also sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow to avoid spreading germs to others.
#3 COMMON SENSE SELF CARE Sugar depresses the immune system, so give it a break -- candy, soft drinks, sweetened baked goods, rich desserts. Research shows drinking water helps prevent respiratory tract infections -- eight 7 oz glasses spread throughout out the day. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Those drinking just 3 glasses -- instead of 8 a day -- are 5 times more likely to get sick!
Finally, get enough sleep -- 7 to 9 hours a night.
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