It’s that time of the year again when the flu virus typically strikes and it is important for everyone to know how to avoid catching the flu.
The virus drains its victims mentally, physically and emotionally. Nurse practitioner Julie Sanz, the assistant director of the Stevenson University Wellness Center, offered several tips for avoiding the flu.
Hand-washing is the most reliable way to stop the spread of the flu, she explained. Individuals should wash with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds and dry their hands completely.
Sanz also advocated that people avoid touching their face and eyes, in order to halt the spread of the virus. Using cleaning supplies with antibacterial and germicidal properties regularly on surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, and other hard surfaces can also help to stop the flu virus from spreading, which can live on these surfaces for 24 hours.
The Wellness Center Blog offers more information about fighting cold and flu viruses this season.
According to medicalecology.org, the flu is “one of the most important infectious diseases confronting the world today.” Many people have mistaken the early stages of the flu for a common cold.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the common flu symptoms include fever/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. All these symptoms can be misleading, making diagnosis difficult and sometimes too late for people who do not get checked out beforehand.
The CDC also compared the differences between the cold and flu. The CDC noted that cold symptoms are usually milder than the symptoms of the flu and are more likely to include a runny or stuffy nose. The CDC also noted that colds generally do not result in any serious health problems compared to the flu.
The CDC estimates that from Oct. 1, 2019 to Jan. 25, 2020, there could have been 19 to 26 million flu illnesses, 8.6 to 12 million flu medical visits, 180,000 to 310,000 flu hospitalizations and 10,000 to 25,000 flu deaths. Getting a flu shot can also help humans from getting this virus or at least preventing it from harming them. The CDC notes that flu shots can “reduce flu illnesses, doctor’s visits, missed work and prevent flu-related hospitalizations.”
Sean McDonald, a member of the men’s soccer team, recently had the flu just as the semester started. “The flu took everything out of me and I had no energy. I’d wake up with a high fever and all I wanted to do was lay around and do nothing,” he said. McDonald went to the Wellness Center and got treated for his symptoms.
The Wellness Center is located in the Caves building and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays when it is open until 7 p.m. while classes are in session.