Winter is a time for snow flurries, hot chocolate and the influenza virus. This year the flu has made headlines across the country. On a college campus the flu is able to spread so rapidly because the close quarters and the ability to transfer through a simple cough or sneeze. The virus effects the respiratory system and for college students it also effects their motivation and grades. The flu may just seem like a few days of torture, but it can have harsh effects. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 200,000 people have been hospitalized for the flu, just this year.
In order to keep you healthy and keep your grades up this semester here are a few tips on how to avoid the flu without breaking the bank or living in a bubble:
-Replace alcohol with tea during flu season. Alcohol weakens your immune system inviting all sorts of germs and viruses into your body, while tea helps the body clear out germs. You should also be sure to drink plenty of water.
-Clean your work areas. If you go to the gym or library makes sure to wipe down your area. It only takes four hours for the flu virus to enter your system, so by keeping your spaces clean you can avoid coming in contact with the virus.
-Take your vitamins. In the winter our bodies may need a bit of an immune boost, so stop by the pharmacy and grab an all-in-one vitamin.
-Wash your hands regularly and be sure to get a plenty of sleep.
If you already have the flu here are a few ways to help it end faster:
-Continue to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated helps your immune system clean out your body.
-Eat chicken soup. Although it sounds like something your mother would tell you to do, scientists also agree that the recipe helps ease flu and cold symptoms.
-Take a long, hot shower. The steam can also help clean out your system.
-Take a rest. If you have the flu you should not be going to class or work, this will only weaken you and get others sick.
While it seems that the flu is no longer an issue, it is important to remember that flu season continues through March. Be sure to take preventative measures to limit your chances of getting the flu.
For more information on the flu and flu prevention visit: