How to Stay Safe During Flu Season

How to Stay Safe During Flu Season

With an estimated 16-31 million U.S. citizens diagnosed flu already in 2024, according to the CDC, flu season is officially in full swing. Influenza, the easily transmissible virus, is characterized by headaches, persistent dry coughing, shortness of breath, tiredness and weakness, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat and eye pain, reported Mayo Clinic. While most Assumption students are not in the high-risk category for the flu, it still ravages our school every winter. On January 18, 2024, between 20 and 30 Assumption students were absent due to illness, with the most common illness being the flu, most common reason. However, there are many ways to not only avoid this winter virus, but to stay healthy year-round.

  1. Wash. Your. Hands. While this should be common practice regardless of the time of year, handwashing is imperative during flu season. Because infections get into our system primarily through touching our eyes, nose and mouth, washing our hands with soap can remove the germs that cause these infections. According to the Northern Nevada Medical Center, although handwashing prevents colds and other viruses 20% of the time, the handwashing habits of those around you also significantly impact your health. So, please, wash your hands.
  2. Use both natural and modern medicine. Although vaccinates are effective in easing symptoms of the flu and preventing them, in 40-60% of cases, natural supplements can also help fight against the flu, the Mayo Clinic continues. Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, selenium and zinc have been seen to improve immune systems and decrease susceptibility to illness, stated National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Both natural supplements and over the counter medications work together to fight against the flu.
  3. Don’t share food or drinks. Because the flu is spread via direct and indirect contact, being aware of the ways the flu can spread can help one avoid it. The New Hampshire Department of Administrative Services says those with the flu can spread the virus up to 5-7 days after becoming sick, so even sharing food and drinks with a “healthy” friend can be dangerous.
  4. Avoid touching your face. Often dubbed “self-inoculation,” touching your face during flu season increases your risk of becoming sick. Viruses come into our systems through our eyes, nose and mouth, so when you accidentally touch a contaminated area then your face, the chances of getting sick significantly increase.
  5. Stay at home when you feel sick. Even if you dread missing school, if you are feeling under the weather, protect your classmates and stay at home. Staying home not only limits the risk of spreading your illness to others, but it also allows your body time to recover without the added stress of day-to-day life. So, do yourself and others a favor and stay home.

Stay safe, Rockets!

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