As autumn is upon us, the air is getting colder, and we may very well follow. Flu season is here, but we don’t have to fall victim to it. As college students, we don’t have the time or means to be treating an annoying illness. Take these preventive measures to protect yourself against the flu.
Take Vitamin C now, rather than when you’re sick. Common to most superstores, this over-the-counter supplement is essential to proper immune system defense. It protects against airborne germs that are often associated with the flu virus. Usually packaged in an 8 oz. bottle, these pills are easy to take every day in order to strengthen your immune system. Taken as a preventative measure, you are less likely to get the flu. Don’t wait until you’re already sick.Ester-C at Walmart is only $10.
Get the flu vaccine. Take a trip to your local drugstore to see if they already have the flu vaccine. Though shots are hated by many, this preventative measure may be the most important in keeping the flu at bay. Usually, the vaccine will be covered by your health insurance or it won’t cost much. CVS Pharmacy offers shots without an appointment, and you get a 20% off shopping pass with its purchase. Walgreens also offers shots without an appointment, and for each shot given they give one to a child who needs it most.
Wash your hands regularly. Studies suggest that the next best thing to the flu vaccine is good hand hygiene. Use warm water and soap, rubbing hands for 15 to 20 seconds. Usually, singing the ABCs will do the trick. Done several times a day, this will prevent most cold and flu germs that are usually caused by hand to surface contact. Keeping hand sanitizer nearby is also helpful to kill germs when you are on the go.
Stop spreading your own germs. If you have to cough or sneeze, do so into the crook of your arm. It’s also helpful to have tissues handy in case of a rather nasty explosion. Always sanitize afterwards.
Keep hydrated. Women should be drinking roughly 2.2 liters of water a day, while men should drink around 3 liters. Keeping your body properly hydrated, especially as the climate changes, is paramount. When the flu begins to spread rapidly, your already hydrated body will better fight the virus than one that is poorly hydrated.
If you do become sick, get plenty of rest and continue hydrating yourself. You can always go to the Student Health Center to seek medical attention or assistance. Following these proven measures will prevent this season’s flu from getting the best of you! Happy fall!