, 61 percent of the flu-related hospitalizations so far this
cold season have occurred in young and middle-aged adults, typically the age
range that is least vulnerable to the illness.
Flu season, which usually peaks right around now, typically hits teens like a bad cold. This year, however, the swine flu virus H1N1 is back en force, and it is affecting a lot of young adults in a bad, bad way.
The good news is, there are ways to not
get the flu—phew! Here’s what to do to keep sickness at bay:
If you haven’t already, get the
vaccine. It is 61 percent effective, and while it is typically given prior
to the peak of the season, you should still be able to get it.
Wash your hands like a crazy
person. Use soap and warm water, and try to wash for about 30 seconds straight.
Avoiding bacteria-ridden blow dryers for less environmentally friendly paper towels
is a good choice when possible, as well.
Quarantine the sick. Yeah,
you miss your hacking-up-a-lung bestie, but don’t feel tempted to visit while
she’s sick. Go ahead and bring her homework assignments and care packages, but
leave them at the front door, not her bedroom.
Wipe down surfaces sickies have
touched, sneeze on or coughed over. Keep a pack of Clorox wipes and a
bottle of alcohol-based hand rub in your locker and backpack to wipe down
books, desks, doorknobs—anything and everything.
Avoid drama. Stressing over
unnecessary things can be detrimental to your immune system, making you a much
more vulnerable target.
Get more sleep. In the same
vein, sleep is essential for pretty much everything you do, including
supporting the immune system that keeps you healthy. Head to bed early, sleep a
little later, and take advantage of weekends to catch up on zzz’s.
If you think you’re getting sick with the flu, stay home! Spreading the virus to your entire school is a mean
thing to do, even if you want to protect your perfect attendance record. You
need to stay home for 24 hours after your fever is gone.
Stay healthy, babes!
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BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 2/21/2014 3:01:00 PM
POSTED IN disease, cold busters