Swine Flu or the H1N1 Virus is most common among young people, and those between the ages of 18 and 25 are at greater risk because they are typically young college students, and many of them will live in college dorms. The spread of contagious diseases is especially rampant in college dorms because young people may not be vigilant enough about taking the necessary precautions to prevent themselves from getting sick.
Here is a look at some important things you can do to ensure that you stay as healthy as possible.
*Get the Swine Flu Vaccination –
As long as you’re under the age of 24, you are in the group of people for whom the vaccine is most recommended. Make sure you get a regular flu shot too. Don’t wait until your roommate is diagnosed with swine flu to get the shot. If possible, get it before you arrive at campus, or as soon as it’s available on the campus. Your family doctor should be able to give you the vaccination before you head off to school.
*Wash your hands –
Be fastidious about washing your hands. You will touch many things, whether it be books in the library, the desk in a classroom, doors, faucets and much more. Washing your hands as often as possible is one great way to get rid of any potential disease causing germs you may have on your body. Carry hand sanitizer with you, if necessary.
*Avoid touching your face –
Touching your face when your hands aren’t thoroughly clean or when you’ve touched something that could potentially be contaminated with the virus is a very easy and common way to spread the virus.
*Cover your face –
When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth. Coughing and sneezing into the air will spread germs rapidly.
*Don’t share stuff –
College students are often very willing to share a drink, a towel, or some food that they have eaten with one another. Sharing food or drinks among one another can spread germs and disease without your ever knowing about it. Make sure that if you live with other people, you have some way to designate whose glass or cup is whose.
*Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough –
Carry tissues or a handkerchief with you so you can cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. One of the easiest ways to spread germs is by coughing and sneezing without containing your germs.
*Get adequate sleep –
College students are notorious for not getting enough sleep. They lead such active lives that between their academic obligations and their social life, regular sleep is often relegated to the bottom of the priority list. Your resistance is drastically lowered when you aren’t well rested and this will make you much more likely to catch some sickness.
*Tell a dorm supervisor or resident adviser if you know someone is sick –
If you know that a fellow floor mate or dorm resident is ill, but isn’t heeding the warnings and recommendations about caring for themselves and protecting others, contact the dorm supervisor or resident adviser. It may seem like you are ratting someone out, but doing that is a heck of a lot better than watching a whole dorm get sick.
*Get enough sleep –
One of the ways by which college students are particularly bad when it comes to taking care of themselves is in the sleep department. School assignments, work or goofing around having fun will often keep students up until wee hours of the night. Then they get very little sleep. The compounded effects of lack of sleep can make you much more susceptible to illness.
*Be sure to eat well –
Eating a healthy diet is another important way by which to prevent the spread of disease. When you are poorly nourished, your resistance is lowered, and that means that your body is less capable of fighting off disease. A good diet will ensure that you get plenty of important vitamins and minerals.
*Avoid crowds when possible –
You may not be able to avoid crowds when it comes to your classes, but you can certainly avoid them by not going to large parties, concerts and places where a lot of people you don’t know will be. Crowded situations make the area where the people are congregated very warm, and those warm and moist conditions are perfect for the growth of bacteria or viruses, including the virus that causes swine flu.
*Know when to stay in your room –
If you don’t feel well, contact your professors and let them know that you’re ill. Then spend the day in your room. Avoid having contact with other students who live in the dorm to the extent that it’s possible.
*Know when you need to go to Student Health –
The Swine Flu is nothing to mess with. There have been reports of otherwise healthy people who all of a sudden, started to feel bad. The sick feeling just escalated and the person also had a rather high fever. This is the exact type of situation that could easily result in death.
If you feel really horrible and have a fever of over 101 and it won’t break, contact student health as soon as possible.
*Wash clothing in hot water –
If you feel as though a bug of sorts is coming on, wash your bed linen, towels and clothing in hot water. This will remove any potential disease causing germs.
As you can see, it isn’t hard to take measures to avoid the swine flu – even if you are living in the dorms. The best things you can do to make sure you don’t wind up with swine flu is wash your hands all the time. Use disposable cups or have some means of identifying your drinks so that others won’t drink out of your container or cup.
Make sure you get enough sleep. When you try to burn the candle at both ends, your ability to fend off disease is seriously compromised. Proper sleep and a good diet are both important ways by which to help prevent the spread of disease. Consider getting some antibacterial disinfecting spray to use in the bathroom and other areas that you share with a lot of people.
Most of all, if you don’t feel well and think you are getting sick, don’t go to class and don’t go venturing around all over campus. Contact your professors to let them know. Stay in your room until you are free of a fever for at least 24 hours.