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Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

With the arrival of the winter season, cold and flu cases will be on the rise. There are several things you can do to keep yourself healthy.

The common cold is one of the most frequent viral illnesses in the United States, though most colds are mild and resolve within a short time period. The common cold is caused by a large number of viruses which can lead to multiple illnesses throughout the winter months.

Influenza (commonly called the flu) is a highly contagious viral illness that can occur in children or adults of any age. It occurs more often in the winter months because people spend more time in close contact with one another. The flu is spread easily from person to person by coughing, sneezing, or touching surfaces. Luckily, you can obtain a seasonal influenza vaccine that can help decrease your risk of illness.

Additionally, the following can prevent YOU from getting sick or spread the illness to others:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. See CDC's information on Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives for more information.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils with others.
  • Refrain from kissing others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom.

Most people with the flu recover within one to two weeks without treatment. However, serious complications of the flu can occur. Call your doctor or nurse immediately if:

  • You feel short of breath or have trouble breathing.
  • You have pain or pressure in your chest or stomach.
  • You have signs of being dehydrated, such as dizziness when standing or not passing urine.
  • You feel confused.
  • You cannot stop vomiting or you cannot drink enough fluids.

For more information on the flu, please visit the CDC's page on tips for preventing the flu.

Come visit us at the Drexel Student Health Center for more information on the influenza vaccine or any other questions regarding health and wellness. We hope you stay healthy this winter season!