Flu prevention: how to protect yourself and others

By GALEN HARRIS

As the temperature starts to drop on campus, students are adding on layers of clothes avoiding a dreadful seasonal sickness. One of the most prominent ailments of winter is the flu. With this in mind, students need to start thinking of ways to stop this virus before it has a chance to start.

“I had it last year,” says Kennesaw State student, Whitney Steedley. “That’s why I want to get a [flu] shot.”

For those students who have never had the flu, Steedley says it is “awful”.

“I was sick and probably had a fever for five days. Then after that, you are just achy,” she said.

Though the flu is at its peak in January, it can start as early as October and end, in some cases, as late as May. The flu is believed to spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and the germs land on another person’s mouth or nose. One can also get the flu after touching a surface the virus is on, then touching their face or eyes.

Symptoms of the flu can include a cough, sore throat, fever, head and body aches, and also chills and fatigues coupled with nausea. Constantly being surrounded by students, teachers, and other students, individuals are more at risk of the flu walking around on campus.

Wondering how to avoid getting sick this flu season? Follow these simple steps as mandated by website http://www.flu.gov:

1.         Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands with soap and water.

2.         Germs spread easily, so try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

3.         Avoid close contact with infected or sick people.

4.         Get an ample amount of sleep at night and exercise regularly.

5.         Make sure to stay hydrated and observe healthy eating habits.

6.         When coughing or sneezing, always be sure to keep your mouth covered.

7.         If you do feel like you are coming down with flu-like symptoms, rest for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

Most importantly, the best way to stop from getting the flu is to get the flu vaccination.

There are a few stops just off campus where people can get a flu vaccination:

Walgreens on Cobb Parkway has flu shot vaccinations. Recipients just need to make an appointment and bring in their insurance cards along with a photo ID. Most insurance companies are accepted.

Most pharmacies have the same policy and anyone can make an appointment for a flu shot at a time that is convenient to the patient.

Target on Barrett Parkway is another place where students can go and get their vaccinations.

Recipients can make an appointment at any of these facilities on their specific websites.

“My company is offering free flu shots as long as you register,” says student Lauren Wells. She works for Aarons Inc. associated with Aaron’s Lakewood Amphitheatre.

“Even if you don’t have our insurance you can get vaccinated,” she said.

Whatever it is that you decide to do to prevent infection of the flu virus this winter, remember most importantly to stay hydrated.

For more information on the flu and flu prevention, go to http://www.flu.gov.

 

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