How to stay protected during flu season

Sereene Darwiesh

With the yearly flu season approaching, it is important to be aware of how to stay protected and avoid the flu to the best of your ability. 

The first way to stay protected is by avoiding close contact. This method was widely used during the pandemic to avoid Covid-19, however, it is effective for all contagious illnesses. If you are personally sick or feeling unwell, it is important to avoid close contact with people who are not sick.

Another method is to avoid touching your mouth or nose if your hands are not washed. We are constantly touching thousands of germs every single day so it is important to protect ourselves by avoiding those vulnerable areas that could get infected by germs. 

Practicing good health habits is also a crucial element in avoiding all illnesses, specifically the flu. 

Some good healthy habits to practice are, washing your hands frequently, taking daily vitamins, drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day, and getting enough sleep. 

Eating nutritious foods that are filling and energizing is also crucial as your body needs the daily vitamins from eating healthy meals to maintain a healthy immune system.

“I recently got the flu and it was an extremely painful experience. I spent a lot of time in my bed and my biggest symptoms were a sore throat and a runny nose,” senior Ruftana Beyene said

“The biggest thing that helped me during my sickness  was resting and staying hydrated by drinking tea,” Beyene said

Maintaining a healthy immune system is very important, specifically when you are not sick so that your body is able to fight off any illnesses with ease. 

In school, there are also specific measures that you can take to avoid getting sick. 

Some of those precautionary measures are getting vaccinated against the flu so that if there is an outbreak, you have a less likely chance of contracting it.

Routinely cleaning your surroundings with wipes because thousands of germs are constantly building up on the desks that we use every day.

And lastly, make sure that if you or any of your friends feel a sickness coming, stay home until recovered so that you are not spreading anything.  

There are many places that offer a flu vaccine, specifically near Annandale. Some places are the CVS on heritage drive, Walgreens on Ravensworth rd, and the closest urgent care on Maple Pl. 

When contracting the flu, symptoms should go away after about 5 days. Although some like a cough and runny nose may stay and linger for a couple of days.

If contracting the flu, the CDC recommends staying home for 24 hours after the fever is gone. 

There are also specific medicines that the CDC recommends if contracting the flu, the most effective one being an antiviral drug. 

Some of the main symptoms that are common from the flu are headaches, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, and fever.

“I really hate getting sick so I try my best to avoid it at all costs. Some ways that I stay away from the flu is avoiding my friends/ family when they don’t feel well and taking my daily vitamins,” senior Trisha Raja said

“When I do get sick, I try to rest as much as I can but it can be hard because I try to be as productive when I’m at home and not at school,” Trisha Raja said 

These symptoms are very similar to Covid-19 so if you feel any of these symptoms, it is recommended to take a Covid test and ensure that it is the flu rather than Covid-19.

If you are not comfortable with prescribed medicine to combat the flu, there are also natural remedies! Some of these remedies include taking vitamin C, drinking honey and tea for the antioxidants, and gargling warm salt water to help with the bacteria. 

Some fluids that you can take besides water to help nourish your body are ginger ale, green tea, Gatorade, and natural juices like oranges or apples. 

Gatorade is extremely helpful because the salts from the drink help replenish your body because you are actively losing sodium when you are dehydrated. 

It is important to get your yearly flu shot to prevent any illnesses when possible. The shot is made to protect people against the four flu virus. 

Some self-care tips to follow when feeling ill are getting bed rest and using a throat lozenge to clear any congestion. 

Although it can be difficult to avoid the flu, it is important to take time to rest and take care of your mental and physical well-being when ill. 

Your immune system is already at risk when contracting an illness so it is important to care for yourself and not neglect any severe symptoms that could be an area of concern.