Ways to prevent common illnesses this semester

Last updated: 01/22/14 6:56pm


Preparation for the new semester will require more than just the purchase of expensive books. Returning to the classroom free from the binds of sickness like that of the cold and flu can make all the difference in putting your best foot forward. Here are the most popular and credentialed ways to avoid this season’s epidemics.

The Snow Health Center and the Center for Disease Control has backed the following measures as prophylactics for our bodily invaders.

The CDC website lists vaccination as the most important step of preventive measures for the flu viruses. “While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be most common,” the website says.

Amanda Lefeld, Director of University health services, concurred: “We really push for being vaccinated.”

“Student Well-Being brings vaccination opportunities to students on campus via the Outreach Student Wellness Fairs,” Lefeld explained. “The Snow clinic stocks the extra vaccines, so even if the fair was missed it’s not too late to be vaccinated.”

For the viruses that may not be prevented by the vaccine, everyday preventive actions can be the difference between infection and health. Preventive actions include:

• Avoiding contact with others who are sick.
• Washing your hands as often as possible, especially before eating and touching your face.
• If water and soap aren’t available, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is the next best option.
• Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and possessions that have high contact with others.
On the contrary, if you are sick,
• Limit contact with others to prohibit the spread of the virus.
• Use tissue paper to cover any sneezes and coughs, then discard them in the trash.
• Stay in 24 hours post-fever.
• Use antiviral drugs.

The use of antiviral prescribed drugs serves as the last line. CDC’s website explains, “Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications.” Seeing your doctor for such prescriptions is the only way to receive these over-the-counter drugs.

For more information concerning this season’s ailments, visit the Health and Wellness Resource Center, found through our Library Database.

Published Jan 22, 2014 in Life

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