Fighting off the flu

Raisa Benusa

Lumen Reporter

The cold and flu season is fast ap­proaching and steps can be taken now to combat this unpleasant pair.

“We have a virus going around campus with low grade fevers, sore throats, coughs, body aches, and chills,” Sue Danielson, coordinator of health services told Lumen.

“The best prevention [for the flu] is the flu shot,” she added. “It’s cheap, it’s effective, and it’s right here on campus.” Flu shots cost $12 on campus. Students can schedule an appointment with health services or stop in at one of the on campus flu shot clinics.

“We just want to make it acces­sible right here to students,” Daniel­son said.

“I think there is a lot of miscom­munication about the flu shot,” she said. “People cannot get the flu from the flu shot. If one does get it and re­ceived the shot, it’s most likely that person contracted the flu before re­ceiving the shot because it takes two weeks to build up an immunity.

It’s not going to give anyone the flu.”

The flu season peaks between January and March and it takes two weeks to build an immunity, Dan­ielson said. She recommends that the best time to get the flu shot is between mid-October and early No­vember.

The flu and the common cold have the same symptoms but are more pronounced with the flu. These symptoms include fevers, coughs and body aches, and some people experience being sick to their stomachs.

“It’s the fever that sets them apart,” said Danielson.

“Wash your hands, cover your cough, and stay home. These are the big three,” to prevent colds, Dan­ielson said, along with “keeping surfaces clean.” This includes disin­fecting door handles, computer key­boards, and common surfaces. Dan­ielson gives this advice to students: “Keep your rooms clean.”

What should students do if they get the flu or a cold? Take “fluids, fluids, fluids,” Danielson said.

“It’s a virus. You need to flush it out of your system.” Students should also stay home if their temperatures are over a hundred, she said. She also recommends plenty of rest, sleeping at an angle to let everything drain properly, sucking on candies to loos­en the throat, and using vapor rub: “All of the things our grandmothers have been teaching us for years and years.

“If you take the time early on to get better, you may shorten the length of the flu,” Danielson said.

When students go to health ser­vices, they can be provided with Ty­lenol, ibuprofen, antihistamines, de­congestants, and cough medicines Danielson said. These are all avail­able for free to students.

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