Let’s face it—it’s always flu season.
Regardless of what month it is, being a student at any school or college is always going to put you at risk of disease. Doorknobs, handrails, chairs and countless other common objects we come in contact with every day are shared between thousands upon thousands of other young adults, and not everyone stays on their hygiene-A-game.
Most of the time, tips and tricks for staying healthy during the school year don’t begin to come out until the dreaded flu season of the winter months claim the first few hundred of its victims.
It is true that with October, November, and December come thousands of strains of sometimes deadly diseases, and often these illnesses can put a serious dent in your social and academic lives. Start your hygiene habits early this year!
- Get Vaccinated: Make sure vaccinations are up to date before heading off to school. Crammed classrooms and communal living can put students at greater risk of contagious illnesses. In 2014, an outbreak of mumps sickened more than 150 students at the Ohio State University; the disease can be spread through coughing, sneezing, or sharing cups and utensils. It’s preventable with the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. College campuses have also been the epicenter of outbreaks of meningococcal disease, a rare but serious illness that can lead to brain damage, limb amputations or even death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a meningococcal vaccine for teens, especially before entering college or the military
- Exposure: Keep your distance! If someone has a cold or the flu, give him or her space! Viruses spread through airborne transmission or personal contact. Wash your hands! Viruses can survive on doorknobs, keyboards, desks, light switches and many other objects. If you touch them and touch your nose or mouth you just exposed yourself to the germs. Wash your hands after being in a public place.
- Sleep: Although at college a late-night party with friends or the occasional all-nighter to cram for a mid-term is understandable, it’s best not to make it a habit. A lack of sleep can have physical and mental consequences including reduced brain function, weight loss or gain, and an increased vulnerability to sickness. Students need a good seven to 10 hours of sleep per night. During sleep, the brain converts short-term memories into long-term memories, which can help to retain recently learned information. People learn and remember more when they spend a smaller amount of time studying and a longer amount of time sleeping. Our bodies and minds grow while we sleep, and sleep is very important in the function of the immune system. People who get enough sleep therefore do better academically and are less likely to become ill due to these functions.
We are continually pinning new tips and facts for staying healthy this school year on Pinterest.
We’re also always here to answer your infection protection questions, tweet any questions to us @ShepardMedical. Have a happy and healthy school year!