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How not to Catch the Nasties

Nathaniel Kelly

The Broadside


Every year many citizens and college students contract influenza, also known as the flu. Students in dorms are more prone to infections during the winter season because they have close contact with roommates .

“Winter season is a time for flu because we are all indoors and have close contact with other people” said Dana Topliff, a co-coordinator for second year nursing.

A fundamental way students can prevent contracting the flu is by washing their hands.

“Seems so simple, but washing your hands for 20 seconds will prevent the spread of germs” said Topliff.

Also,students, staff and faculty should stay home if they are ill.

The Deschutes County Health Department website recommends “not coming to class unless the student has been free of fever 100 degrees or higher for 24 hours.” The Center for Disease Control and Prevention adds that “fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.”

College students living in the dorms or in other close quarters means the rate of infection increases.

Students and faculty members who are unable to stay at home until the fever subsides are still able to spread the infection.

“Get your flu shot, for those living in close quarters or those wanting to be cautious,” said Nancy Zavacki, a nursing professor at COCC.

Another preventive measure according to the CDC website is to cough and sneeze into a tissue, throw the tissue away and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water. Avoid touching eyes and nose.

Another step to prevent contracting the flu is to eat the right foods, get enough sleep and exercise to boost the immune system.

Keeping your immune system in fit condition will protect you from acquiring sickness and diseases, said Topliff.

“As faculty members, we educate our students in regards to taking care of themselves,” said Topliff. “Faculty members also discuss the importance of taking care of themselves so that they can be a model to students to keep themselves healthy.”

You may contact Nathaniel Kelly at nkelly@cocc.edu

For more information on the steps to preventing the flu:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm

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