While it feels like fall just arrived with a bang this week, here at UHCS we’ve been seeing evidence of the start of cold and flu season for weeks: the sniffling, the coughing, the misery, the panicked faces at the thought of missing yet another class or exam.
Here are some tips to help keep you healthy and absence-free from classes during this long, long season:
- Get some sleep! Adequate rest is vital to the immune system’s ability to fight off all the viral infections we come in contact with on a regular basis. This is easier said than done during especially midterms and finals. Just turning off the computer or TV a little earlier at night can add some much-needed time to your daily sleep routine.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Iced coffees and Red Bulls are not substitutes for water. Drinking 8-10 cups of water per day prevents dehydration, which in turn leaves you less susceptible to illness.
- Keep your friends close but your hand sanitizer closer. Close personal contact with sick people opens you up to exposure of their viral infection, which typically spreads through contact with nasal and oral droplets and saliva. If your roommate is sick, keep a little distance, limit the hugging for awhile, and wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer frequently. Limiting the amount of time you spend touching your own nose and mouth can help as well.
- It’s never too late (or early) for a flu vaccine. Seasonal influenza vaccine provides the best protection available. Vaccination can lessen illness severity and is particularly important for people at high risk. Try to get it as soon as it is available but remember you can get vaccinated at any point throughout the season to help prevent the flu! Flu activity typically peaks in January or later but the timing and duration of the season can vary. So, get your flu vaccine now!
The flu vaccine is available at UHCS for $20 to NU students. No appointment is necessary.
Post by: Catheryn Imperato, Nurse Practitioner