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How to Stay Well This Winter

Every year around 20 percent of people in the United States get the flu. In addition, over 200,000 people are hospitalized each winter, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Seasonal Influenza is often debilitating, and in some cases deadly, according to the CDC.

With the flu being so prevalent, it’s good to know what works when dealing with it, according to Dana Topliff, chair of the Central Oregon Community College’s Nursing department. There are many ways to deal with the flu; getting rest, taking over the counter medicine, getting a flu shot, or seeing a doctor.

“Everyone needs to wash their hands. The number one way to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands,” Topliff said.

According to the CDC, the flu is mostly deadly to young children and the elderly, but that’s no reason for college students not to be prepared. Anyone can get the flu at any time; all that’s needed is one person with the influenza virus.

“With the flu, you are infectious one day before the symptoms and five to seven days after becoming sick,” Topliff said.

The flu spreads mainly by droplets, according to Topliff; all it takes is one sick person failing to cover their mouth when they cough to get another person sick. On the CDC website, there is a list of flu ailments. The symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body ache, headaches, fatigue, and possible vomiting or diarrhea. It is important to check for the symptoms if you start to feel unwell. Topliff said she hasn’t seen many sick students yet, but it is only fall, and winter brings much harsher conditions.

While many students will still go to school despite being sick, Topliff believes it’s more important to stay home and get well than get someone else sick.

“If  [students] have any kind of a temperature, they should not be in class, because they’re just infecting other people,” Topliff said.

COCC student Schuyler Werner has his own plans to stay well this winter.

“I dress warmly for the weather, drink orange juice, practice good hygiene, and try to exercise,” Werner said.

 

Elliot Hansell | The Broadside

(Contact: mhansell@cocc.edu)

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