Runny noses, scratchy throats and nonstop sneezes are filling the UNB campus. The lowering temperatures and changing seasons are kick-starting cold and flu season.
Given the close and tight knit community at UNB germs are easily transferred from person to person.
“The flu is easily spread from person to person through contact with droplets that have been coughed or sneezed into the air by someone who is already sick, [or] by shaking hands with an infected person or touching a contaminated surface,” said Stacey Taylor, a nurse practitioner at the UNB Student Health Centre.
Getting the cold, however, is not inevitable. There are many things students at UNB should be aware of in order to prevent themselves from getting sick.
“Getting a flu shot every year is one of the most effective ways to prevent catching the flu and spreading it to others,” said Taylor.
A healthy lifestyle also plays an important role in your immune system’s ability to fight colds. This includes a healthy diet and frequent exercise.
Washing your hands, as well as avoiding touching your face, are two keys ways to protect yourself even further, if you already follow a balanced diet and have a regular exercise routine.
It is also important to disinfect common areas such as doorknobs, light switches and keyboards.
“Some viruses can live on hard surfaces for as long as two days,” says Taylor.
However, even after taking precautions, sometimes it’s hard to prevent yourself from catching a cold. In that case, the best way to recover after being infected is to give your body time to rest.
There are also over-the-counter cold and flu medications that can be used to help deal with symptoms, but beyond that, eat foods you can tolerate and stay home while you get better.
“Because UNB is such a small school, I think it’s really important for students with the cold to stay home to prevent spreading germs to other students,” says Matthew Johnson, a third-year Business student.
Flu shots are available on campus at the UNB Student Health Centre for all UNB and STU students, faculty, and staff. With no appointment necessary, students can head down the hill to CC Jones and get a flu shot for fifteen dollars.
Flu shots are also available at local hospitals, doctor’s offices and pharmacies.
No one wants to get the flu during the school year, and no one wants to spread a virus to others either. Taking these precautious can help prevent the flu for yourself and others, and minimize loss of valuable school time.