The winter season is upon us. Students everywhere will be spending more time inside as the snow begins to fly and the temperature drops. They will be crowded into their residence hall prisons waiting for the return of more pleasant weather.
In the meantime, they must take special precautions to arm themselves against deadly predators whose breeding grounds can be the tightly packed residence halls. These predators are nasty germs that cause colds and the flu. They have the potential to make a student’s life miserable if they are strong enough or if they strike at the perfect time like two days before finals.
“My number one piece of advice for students on preventing the flu or cold is get plenty of rest, fluids, staying away from exposure, and frequent hand washing,” says Dr. Margaret Aguwa of Family and Community Medicine in Fee Hall.
[hat] Fluids, especially water, are important in rehydrating people’s bodies and, therefore, making it harder for germs to make people sick. About 8 ounces a day for an adult is beneficial in flushing toxins out of the body and keeping people healthy. [cold]
“Washing hands, believe it or not, can prevent a lot of sickness,” says Judy Williams, Disease Control Supervisor for Ingham County Health Department.
Cold and flu viruses are spread from direct contact. Some germs can be pretty tough-living for a couple of hours or even a couple of days on doorknobs, telephones, and handrails which is why people should try to wash their hands frequently.
Last but not least, relax. Sit back, put your feet up and relax. Part of preventing sickness is to get plenty of rest which doesn’t mean participating in every activity Michigan State has to offer. That will only result in students wearing themselves down. According to an article on, relaxation boosts a person’s immune system, and although relaxation for many students doesn’t mean sitting around being bored out of their minds, it does help to slow things down once in a while.
[health1] For those people that do get sick, there are plenty options available to them to battle the cold and flu.
“My advice is to treat your symptoms and to stay in bed away from others,” Williams said.
For people who want help from medication, decongestants help make it easier to breath and aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen can help reduce fever.
“The main things are plenty of rest, fluids, and if there is a fever, use a fever reducer,” says Aguwa.
So prepare for winter weather and take their advice because you know you wouldn’t want to be the person that ends up in bed during finals week.

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