Here are some tips and tricks for preventing and protecting yourself and others on campus from getting sick this winter:
Get the shot, not the flu. Getting a flu shot is the safest, longest lasting and most effective flu prevention. It can also help reduce the severity of symptoms and the risk of complications if you do end up sick, as well help to reduce the spread of the virus. Schedule one today at The Medicine Shoppe in Upper Place Riel at the University of Saskatchewan (USask)
Don’t give bacteria a free ride. Washing hands regularly and thoroughly with warm soap and water or using a hand sanitizer can help kill germs that you encounter unknowingly. Sneezing into a tissue or your elbow can also help prevent germs from becoming airborne. Disinfect any common surfaces regularly, like door knobs, light switches and keyboards even if they aren’t visibly dirty – the flu virus can live on a surface for over 48 hours.
The best defense is a good offence. Being active, eating healthy and managing stress can help boost your immune system, helping your chances at preventing and fighting off sickness. Try taking a fitness class at the PAC, or learn more about on campus resources for dealing with the stress in your life like the services offered through Student Wellness for students and the Emergency Family Assistance Program (EFAP) for staff and faculty.
Stay hydrated. In winter and with the heat turned on, the air is naturally drier. Staying hydrated is always good idea, especially when trying to prevent illness or are already sick. Plain water, tea or something with electrolytes, like pedialyte, are the best choices to stay well hydrated. Make sure to avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeinated sodas when sick as they make dehydration worse.
Stay home and chill. There is no cure for the common cold or the flu, just lots of rest. Relaxing and resting, even if it’s not sleeping, will help the body recover faster. Going to work will also put others at risk for getting sick. Do not go back to work until a fever has been gone for 24 hours without the help of a fever reducer, to make sure that the virus is no longer contagious. Get more information on treating the flu and colds here.