How to Life: Staying Healthy During Sick Season

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A. Guo, Asst. Editor-in-Chief

The flu season peak in February is starting to come to an end, but that doesn’t mean it’s over. The season can last all the way until April or May. The flu has already killed around 16,000 – 41,000 people and hospitalized around 280,000 – 500,000 people this season, so there is a need to stay safe and healthy during this time. Here’s how you can do that:

 

  • Get the Flu Vaccine

According to multiple websites including the CDC and WebMD, the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent getting the flu and has been shown to lower the risk of going to the doctor with the flu by around 40-60 percent. Although the most ideal time to get the vaccine is late October, vaccination is useful as long as the flu viruses are still around. 

While we’re at it, let’s clear up some flu misconceptions as well. 

First, you cannot get the flu from the vaccine. It is possible to feel sick since vaccines include a single gene of the virus, but these symptoms and side effects are significantly less severe than symptoms of the actual virus.

Second, you need to get vaccinated every year. The flu virus mutates every year, so scientists design the vaccine according to their predictions for each and every year. This may also be why some people believe the flu vaccine doesn’t work, as the vaccine is more of a guess and will not guarantee you from not getting sick.

 

  • Wash your Hands

This means you should wash your hands before you secretly eat a snack in class or before you munch on the Cheetos in the cafeteria. As students at Green Level High School, we touch laptops, tables, chairs, and papers that could have been sneezed on, coughed on, and touched by multiple classes of 30-40 people.  This means soap and water for at least 20 seconds, ladies and gentlemen!

 

  • Stop Touching your Face

Unless you have just washed your hands, touching your face with dirty hands increases your risk of infection as the flu as it is a contagious disease. So don’t rub your eyes, pinch your nose, or bite your nails.

 

  • Keep yourself Healthy

Getting an adequate amount of sleep, getting enough vitamins, reducing excessive sugar, exercising, and minimizing stress are all ways to help boost your immune system. Being healthy is a great first line of defense towards the virus.

 

  • Stay Away from Sick People/Stay Home when you’re Sick

This is an important way to reduce the spread of the flu. So if you have a fever, please do not go to school and potentially infect other people. If you don’t have the flu, make sure you stay away from those who are.

 

The Gator’s Eye hopes you stay safe and healthy during this sick season!