How to protect yourself from flu/cold during midterm
I got sick last week, so I jotted down how I felt each day. Take a look:
It all started from swollen throat. I felt like it would go away if I cleared my throat, but no it doesn’t. I was thinking “Oh god, here we go again. Of course I would so get sick during the midterm week.” I go to bed expecting it would get worse the next day.
Yes. I was right again. It got worse. I almost missed the class, but I still made it (hooray…). My head felt like it was going to sink, and I wished it was my day off. I barely showered and it was really hard to breathe. My nose was burning and my throat was still swollen. I took a full 30ml capfull of Nyquil before I go to bed hoping that it wouldn’t be flu.
I felt like I was getting better when I woke up, but as I started my day it got worse. I had a runny nose and my nose would get really stuffy. I had to blow my nose constantly and it was not pretty. I still didn’t cough but I could definitely feel the infection was coming from nose to throat. I could sleep more comfortably.
Ah! I started to cough. My lungs got infected so I was constantly coughing and had to spit out mucus (ew!). I get so embarrassed when I have to cough in class. I get to focus on my study better. I can function. I start take Mucinex to ease my cough.
Voice is still gone but must better than day 1. I just keep taking Mucinex and hoping it would get better.
After getting over this sickness I was thinking: Do other students suffer this too or is it just me??
Throughout my four years of college life, I’ve gotten sick so many times around this time of the year that I know which over-the-counter medicine to take for each stage of my sickness. But whenever I feel flu like symptoms I get nervous which includes:
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.– From Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/symptoms.htm
I am so skilled at getting sick, yet I’d like to avoid getting sick as much as I can because it is not fun when you have three papers and one test screaming at you.
College is one of the places you can get flu viruses easily. Everyone shares the same bathroom, touches doorknobs. Around midterms high stress level often weaken immunization system.
So here are my suggestions for you. It’s simple and easy to follow:
1. Get vaccinated as soon as possible: According to the CDC, the flu vaccine reduces the odds of getting the flu by 70% to 90%. If you haven’t got a flu shot this year, contact your school’s health center if they offer flu shots. If not check the closest pharmacy near you.
2. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze: You never know if you are infected with virus until the symptom show. Dr. Paul Sorum from Albany Medical Center says the incubation period for flu goes up to four days after the virus enters the body, which means people who are infected to flu virus may spread the virus to the others without knowing they are infected. So if you happen to be coughing or sneezing, please cover your mouth.
3. Wipe, wipe, wipe: The most effective way to get infected with flu virus is the direct contact. According to the CDC, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose. The CDC said, the flu virus can live and potentially infect a person for only 2 to 8 hours after being deposited on a surface. If possible, use sanitizer wipes with about more than 60 percent of alcohol to clean the surfaces that are frequently touched.
4. Wash your hands frequently: Wash your hands after using the bathroom! Wash your hands after using the library’s shared computer! Wash your hands after class! Wash your hands before you eat! JUST WASH YOUR HANDS!
5. Get some sleep, work out and stay healthy: Lack of sleep make us more prone to catching colds and the flu. Make sure to get enough sleep and boost your immune system with vitamin C and balanced meals. Going to the gym regularly can help you to boost your immune system as well!
If you ever feel like the flu like symptoms visit flu.gov for some guidelines: http://www.flu.gov/planning-preparedness/school/colleges.html#.
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