The Flu: Reduce Your Risk

It’s flu season, tigers. With this year’s flu season being one of the worst in history, we have some tips from Salem Al-Ayyadhi, Communications Coordinator for the Student Health Center, on how to stay safe, healthy, and flu-free!

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Get Vaccinated: The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine protects against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season. The vaccine can protect you from getting sick from these three viruses, or it can make your illness milder if you get a different flu virus.

Practice Good Health Habits: Try and stay hydrated. Moist mucous membranes are more resistant to infection than dry ones. Get eight hours of sleep a night, and eat three, well-balanced meals a day. In addition, keep a regular exercise schedule.

Take Everyday Preventive Actions: Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Also, wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze – alcohol based hand cleaners are also effective. Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Lastly, disinfect common, shared household objects, such as your computer mouse, keyboard, telephone, etc. with a disinfectant.

Take These Precautions if You Contact the Flu: Stay home from work and school for 7 days after your symptoms began or until you have been symptom free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. Isolate yourself from roommates or family members as much as possible. Anyone who has been in close contact with you within 24 hours of you getting sick should contact their health care provider, particularly if they have an underlying health condition.

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The LSU Student Health Center has flu vaccinations, and they are free for full-time students. For more information, please call (225) 578-6271.

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