Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

October 28, 2010 11:07 PM

Flu season is Coming!

I was just in Moffitt Library yesterday and for whatever reason, paused my music and heard, "Yeah, I just got sick last night. I'm still feeling kinda feverish." -cue cough followed by blowing of nose- I turned to my right and, just as I had feared, the speaker was just a few meters away from me. I quickly finished up what I was doing and made a hasty retreat. Still, it seems like I've still been 'infected' since I woke up with mild symptoms.

As students, we fear getting sick because it affects how well we study for upcoming exams. I am no exception. I'm the kind who only has mild symptoms every now and then, but when I actually get the flu, it's bad. (At one point in time, I was so sick that I coughed non-stop until I was practically choking on lack of air. It really wasn't pleasant, at all.)

In the spirit of staying healthy, here are some tips on how to avoid the flu and how to get better if you do have the flu.

Flus are caused by viruses, so don't bother with antibiotic treatment! Here are some of the ways that you can take care of your body without needing to see a professional:

Preventing the Flu
Wash your hands frequently using warm water and soap! This way, not only will you reduce any microbes on your hands, but you also won't be spreading them around!

Try not to share anything! This is a really easy way to receive or pass on microbes!

Try to reduce how often you touch your eyes, nose, and mouth, since those are the points of entry for the viruses!

Drink a lot of water (try not to drink any sugary drinks!)

Strengthen your immune system by managing stress (read: getting more sleep) and by exercising!

Maintain a healthy diet! Eat calorie-dense foods (i.e. vegetables, fruits) instead of unhealthy foods (i.e. baked goods, fried foods)

Getting Better
Drink a lot of fluids.

Rest! It may be hard, but you will only be harming yourself by exercising strenuously.

Inhale steam to reduce nasal congestion (i.e. hot shower, kettle, etc.)

You can get over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms. According to the UHS (see below) website, it is better to take medicine that targets a specific symptom, rather than aan "all-in-one preparation." Take these medications responsively and make sure to only use when absolutely necessary!

"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."
Make sure that you aren't spreading your virus to anybody else! Follow the instructions above for "Preventing Flu"! Also, when sneezing, sneeze into your elbox instead of into your hands. You use your hands a lot and will be more likely to spread your virus around!

What about Flu shots?
Flu shots can reduce your chance of, well, flu and other respiratory illnesses. The CDC (Center of Disease Control and Prevention) recommends for everyone age 6 months and older should become vaccinated against the flu as soon as the vaccine for the current year is available.

Here are the following dates on which Flu Clinics will be held at the UHS. The cost is $5 for students with SHIP, $25 for everyone else!

(All 12-6PM)
Friday, Nov. 5
Tuesday, Nov. 9
Friday, Nov. 19
Wednesday, Dec. 8

Further Resources
Centers for Diseason Control and Prevention
University Health Services (Tang Center)
Discovery Health


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