Published on November 5, 2015 | by Jasen Obermeyer Photography by Sergio Mazzaferro0
What students can do to beat the flu
University students will be digging out the tissues and thermometers as the flu season takes its grip on campuses.
The flu is every student’s nightmare and according to Orangeville Emergency Medical Doctor Paul Scotton, the flu season has already begun.
“It’ll start anytime between October to May, but the peak of it would be from November to February,” said Dr. Scotton. During the peak time Dr. Scotton noticed a fair amount of students who contract the flu, due to the campus. He said it is a perfect breeding ground to receive and spread the flu.
“In school systems, people congregate more and that’s really why the flu spreads during the winter months,” said Dr. Scotton.
Dr. Scotton further explained that dry heat leads to a reduction in the nose and mucous membranes, which hinders the ability for the membranes to fight off germs.
Fortunately for students, there are some home remedies they can do to overcome the flu. Dr. Scotton said the important thing is symptom relief. Dr. Scotton said students should take, “adequate fluids and manage their symptoms.”
Apart from home remedies, students can get the annual flu shot. Dr. Scotton did warn that it’s not guaranteed to work. “The fact of the matter is the flu vaccine is not 100 per cent effective,” he said.
Dr. Scotton said stress is a big factor in students catching the flu. “Stress can reduce your immune system, so it just makes you a little more susceptible to picking it up,” he said.
Dr. Scotton is not the only one to argue stress’s affects on students.
Liz Sokol, a 20-year counsellor at Humber College, said that when stress reaches a certain level, which will be different for everyone, it will cause harmful affects. She imagined stress level as a bell curve. “On the other side of the bell curve, that’s when negative things start happening to our bodies,” she said.
Sokol said that when stress takes over and the immune system is supressed, our bodies are easier to be infected. “There is a mind-body connection,” she said.
Sokol said there are ways students can combat stress to ensure a reduced chance of receiving the flu. “The best remedy for stress is prevention. So being proactive,” she said. She also mentioned, “The biggest thing are attitudes.” Sokol said having a positive mind, eating healthy and getting lots of rest are the best ways to be less stressed and avoid the flu.