Don’t get caught cold: Tips to avoid the flu bug

Prairie Editorial Staff

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We have all heard of the severity of the influenza outbreak this year.

Last week, about 15% of the people who walked into BSA Hospital’s emergency room tested positive for the flu. It is rampant this year as the flu shot provided less protection than usual.
There are lots of ways to attempt to avoid catching the flu, such as cleaning hands and avoiding close contact with anyone who is sick. Keeping from touching your face, drinking orange juice and covering your mouth and nose help too.

There also happen to be some interesting, less common tips to prevent getting under the weather. This list from health.com gives some surprising tips to keep out of the doctor’s office and away from a positive flu test.

  1. Ditch alcohol, especially when you are running on lower amounts of sleep. Disrupting your normal sleep schedule can negatively impact your immune system’s ability to guard against germs.
  2. Hot tea with honey and lemon. The steam from the tea helps your nose move germs more efficiently, the lemon thins mucus, and honey is antibacterial and will help your throat feel better if you happen to catch the bug.
  3. Protein! Low protein levels in your diet negatively impacts your immune system. Grab that yogurt on your way to class and use this as an excuse to hit up Chick-fil-a.
  4. Clean what you touch. Use those antibacterial wipes at the front of Walmart to wipe off the carts before you touch them and even the wipes for the equipment at the AC when working out.
  5. Sanitize the things that people touch. Microwaves, door knobs, desks. The more the merrier.
  6. Sanitize your hands! Hand sanitizer, hand washing, baby wipes, rubbing alcohol, whatever you have to do. Clean those hands!
  7. Breathe out when you’re around someone who sneezes or coughs near you until you’re about 10 feet from them. This keeps you from inhaling their germs!
  8. Zinc is a great preventative. Cold-eeze lozenges have zinc in them to help keep them away. Emergen-C is worth noting here as well.
  9. Use your own pen rather than borrowing the ones at the bank, at church, at the post office, or at restaurants. Keep your own germs to yourself and other germs on other pens.
  10. Nasal saline. Check it out if you’re down for that sort of thing.
  11. Juicing is a great tool to ward off bugs. Veggies and fruits are always helpful and putting tons of water in there will help flush your body naturally.
  12. Keep your hands to yourself. Quit touching stuff! Water fountains, handrails, countertops. Don’t touch anything you don’t have to.
  13. Essential oils, especially lavender and mint, are always helpful. Vaporizers ensure that you breathe them in as you sleep.
  14. Relax. Doctors say that bad energy makes you tired, which can make you sick. Take this trick with a grain of salt.
  15. Find a nursing major friend who is learning hand massages and get rubbed out! Being less stressed means you’re less tired, which will help keep you healthy.
  16. Work out. Sweating helps flush your body naturally. Make sure to follow up with lots of water!
  17. Don’t share drinks or chapsticks. Anything you put your mouth on after someone else does is a no-go.
  18. Take that nap! Use this excuse to get some extra sleep so you can boost that immune system.
  19. Wash your hands. Okay, this one is universal. Don’t be that person who doesn’t wash their hands. That’s just gross.
  20. Clean your phone! Wiping your phone off with a baby wipe means you wipe off all those gross germs your fingers picked up throughout the day. Consider cleaning that laptop, too!

Good luck navigating the flu season, Buffs!

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Don’t get caught cold: Tips to avoid the flu bug