Staying healthy: Tips to avoid the flu

By Emily Salvatori, Assistant Editor
 
Heading back to school for some may mean getting hit with an illness, especially when it’s cold and flu season. This year, with as widespread as the flu is, taking steps to slow its spread is often on people’s minds. Students are often in close proximity to one another, especially if they live in dorms, and this can easily spread germs. This means taking extra precautions to avoid getting sick, and taking care of yourself if you do.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says the best way to prevent getting the flu is to get vaccinated. West Liberty University offers a $15 flu vaccination to students as well as faculty and staff.
 
 The CDC released some tips on how to protect yourself against the flu. They include avoiding getting close to people who are sick, staying home, covering your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing, washing your hands often, avoiding touching your face and maintaining other habits like eating healthy and exercising.
 
 Another way to help stop the spread of germs is by frequently cleaning surfaces like doorknobs and light switches that get touched often.
 
 Other tips to prevent and care for yourself is by drinking a lot of fluids, as well as getting plenty of rest! A sign you should start drinking a lot of fluids is when you start to ache and get a fever. According to the article “In the Flu Battle, Hydration and Elevation May Be Your Best Weapons” published in the New York Times, “Drinking fluids will diminish your headache and also bolster your immune response because your protein soldiers are conveyed via bodily fluids. Dehydration hampers their movement.”
 
 This article also reads, “Lying flat all the time can be problematic because it collapses your lungs so you can’t cough as efficiently, trapping bacteria in your respiratory tract. If the virus destroys enough cells in your bronchial tubes it creates openings for bacteria to get into your lungs, which can lead to pneumonia, a potentially life-threatening complication of the flu.”
 
 Resisting the urge to lie flat, resting and drinking plenty of fluids can help you care for yourself if you have the flu. To prevent spreading the flu further, it is recommended to stay home at least 24 hours after your fever is gone
 
Photo Credit: Emily Salvatori
 
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