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Healthy Tips For Beating the Flu

Savvy Fairall, Opinion Editor

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This year’s flu season has hit Allen hard. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the H3N2 strain is the one to blame for the empty chairs, desks and offices. Because there has been so much flu talk around campus, the Flame decided to see how students are steering clear of the bug and, for those who’ve fallen victim, how they are coping with the illness.

Unfortunately, this year’s flu shot does not cover the H3N2 strain. Because of this, students have taken it into their own hands to stay healthy. Taryn Huckabay, a sophomore from Topeka, says she washes her hands any chance she gets; that includes before meals, in the restroom and after any human interaction. For those of us who aren’t so obsessed with hand washing, there are hand sanitizer dispensers located around the school.

For other students, loading up on Airborne and vitamin C supplements is what gives the most peace of mind when self-medicating. Airborne is a supplement that is used to strengthen the immune system so users have a better chance of fighting off colds and other winter illnesses. It contains vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids, all of which promote a healthy immune system. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries (really any type of berry will do).

If you are one of the unlucky ones and find yourself in a bed filled with tissues, there are ways to relieve those flu symptoms. For the aches and pains, ibuprofen can become your best friend. For nasal congestion there are over-the-counter decongestants like Mucinex and Sudafed that can work wonders. If symptoms get worse after about three days, it is recommended that you get out of bed, however hard this task may be, and get to the doctor’s office.

The flu cannot be cured but measures can be taken to prevent coming down with the illness. Staying hydrated is very important as well as getting enough sleep and eating right. Everything your mom told you to do is now making sense. Even good old chicken noodle soup can aid in getting you better, and who doesn’t love comfort food?

These tips and tricks for steering clearing of the flu just might come in handy when you feel yourself coming down with the bug days before a big game, an audition, an important exam, or an active weekend. Taking care of your body is extremely important, especially during the “best years of your life.” So wash your hands, buy a bottle of Airborne or load up on Vitamin C. Heck, do all three! Like all of our favorite athletic apparel would say, just do it.

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