Volume 47, Number 4 - October 5, 2009


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Jessica Tejeda
Jessica Tejeda
Staff Writer


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Don’t Let The Flu Get You

By Jessica Tejeda
Jessica.Tejeda001@mymdc.net

As winter approaches, young and old unite at their nearest clinics to receive flu shots.

With so much hype given to the H1N1 flu strand, (also known as the swine flu) this year, students of all ages are worrying about being infected.

Being knowledgeable about common flu symptoms is the first step in protecting yourself. Symptoms include:  fever, aches, chills, tiredness, and sudden symptoms.

But other precautions can be taken. Proper dieting, and eating foods recommended by the food guide pyramid are some ways.

According to Jurist Gordon, a human nutrition professor at the North Campus, eating healthy will lead to a stronger immune system.

“Choosing foods correctly on the food guide pyramid, good quality proteins and vitamins, water soluble and antioxidants will lead you to an adequate immune system,” Gordon said.

Good sleep habits, an active lifestyle and proper hygiene are also important factors in protecting yourself.

According to Gordon, a big reason why students are so susceptible to the flu, especially at school, is their lack of awareness and poor hygiene practices. Students should regularly wash their hands, carry anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, cough or sneezing into a sleeve instead of their hands, and avoid contact with their face.

“Some students think they are invincible, they think they won’t catch anything,” Gordon said.

Ryan Singh, a pre-med major, is one of the students.

“I know about it, but I’m not prepared,” Ryan Singh, a pre-med major, said. “I drink orange juice every morning, that’s about it.”

Elizabeth Ugokwe, a nursing major at the North Campus, doesn’t have such a cavalier attitude.  Because her job puts her in contact with sick patients, she takes extra precautions. She had a flu shot administered and she added “I do a lot of serial hand washing and I try to avoid touching my nose and eyes.”

Because the swine flu symptoms are almost identical to that of the regular flu, it is crucial for students to take the proper steps to protect themselves. If untreated, it can lead to more serious medical conditions like pneumonia and bacterial infections.

Gordon recommends that people at high risk, like the elderly, young children, pregnant woman, those with compromising health conditions, and those who work at daycares and hospitals, to get the flu shot. “I would recommend it to students, because they are around people who are sick all the time especially students studying medicine,” said Arleen Sosa, a Take Care Health employer at a Walgreens store in Hialeah.

If students notice that they have symptoms associated with the flu, they can still get a flu shot. They should also start eating properly, get good rest and drink plenty of fluids.

It’s important for students to be able to recognize their symptoms if they are feeling ill, because whether they have the regular flu or the swine flu, both can lead to life threatening complications.


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