By Chelsea Saleeby
Every winter brings new and exciting things: crisp white snow, long holiday breaks from school, and so much more. Although this is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, there are very serious health risks that come about as well. One of the most common seasonal illnesses is influenza, otherwise known as the flu.
By all means, this viral infection can be contracted throughout the rest of the year; but with the drastic changes in weather it only becomes that much easier to catch and it is extremely contagious. The flu is passed from person to person through the air, and attacks the throat, lungs, and nose. There is really no way to completely avoid this illness, but there are some ways to prevent it.
The most effective way is to get a vaccination, which is highly recommended for students living in dorms because of their close proximity to other people on a regular basis. The influenza vaccine protects people from three strains of the flu including influenza A H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus, and the 2009 H1N1 virus. Most clinics and doctors can issue the vaccination but if you’re away from your family doctor there are always places on campus to receive this help too.
There are many benefits of getting vaccinated. Aside from the obvious peace of mind in knowing that you have that built-in protection, the vaccination will also defer symptoms of the flu like a constant fever, muscle aches, extreme fatigue, and a dry cough. There really is no con to staying safe and being prepared. Apart from the flu vaccination, there are other numerous ways to stay happy and healthy during this season.
Always make sure you’re getting enough rest, fluids, and practicing good nutritional habits. Wash your hands frequently and take in sufficient amounts of Vitamin C. If you feel like you could be developing symptoms, consult a doctor or hall nurse as soon as possible to cut down your risk of sickness. Be sure that if you do end up with an illness you give yourself enough time to rest and recover before returning to your daily routine.