Tips for avoiding the flu

Aubrey Zych, Co-News & Features Editor

 

Sniffly noses. Deadly coughs. Fevers through the roof. Flu season is in full swing again this year, and college campuses will take take some of the hardest hits to the disease.

Each year, approximately 5 to 20 percent of people in the United States will come down with the flu. With students breathing in the same stuffy air in classrooms, pulling all-nighters to the point of exhaustion and sharing personal items (like that dirty red solo cup last Friday night) college students are some of the most vulnerable targets to catching the disease.

As the flu will surely hit the Le Moyne campus this year, causing lots of red-nosed students and empty chairs in class, students should take certain precautions to avoid getting and spreading the flu. The Center of Disease Control, better known as the CDC, says the single best way to prevent the seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year. Likewise, good health habits like keeping clean hands and avoiding close contact can also mean the difference between getting sick and staying healthy.

 

Get your flu shot

Flu shots are available at various pharmacies across Syracuse, including Wegmans, Target and Kinney Drugs. Most major health insurance plans cover flu shots. Without insurance, shots usually cost $20-40, depending on the location.

 

Helpful Tips

Hit the snooze button: Plan your homework and class schedule ahead of time so you get at least eight hours of sleep a night. Lack of sleep can lead to a weakened immune system, and a higher risk of catching the flu.

Know your H20: Take a water bottle to class instead of using the water fountain. Water fountains can contain lots of germs, especially during cold and flu season.

Party smart: Drinking alcohol is not in the best interest of anyone trying to avoid the flu. However, if you’re going to drink, don’t share your drink with others. Often times, flu symptoms don’t show up for several days or even a week. So even if your friends seem healthy, you could be sharing more germs than beer with that sip.

Take a day off: If you are feeling ill, stay home. Most professors would prefer you missing one day than every student becoming ill and the entire class being out for a week.

Love may be in the air, but so are loads of germs. Be smart about who you’re locking lips with or you may end up getting sick (and on @LeMoyneRumors).

Clean up your crib: If your roommate has been sick, the germs can linger for weeks, and infect you later on. Wash bed sheets at least once a week, do the laundry often and empty the trash bin everyday.