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Knocking out the flu bug


Prevention and natural relief to the dreaded influenza

[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap]s the airplane glided across the May sky, Sophomore Payton Beasley ignored the developing ache in her body and the tickle in her throat. The only thing on her mind was her flourishing head cold and the amount of work she would have to make up for attending a ballet festival in Arizona for a week.

“It was the week before finals and [the bug] made me feel really stressed which probably made me even more sick,” Beasley said.

The stress and the fatigue where a toxic combo and Beasley was taken down by the dreaded flu bug for an entire week.

   The start of school and the icky flu bug are a package deal. Occurring between the cooler months of October and May, between 5 and 20 percent of Americans each year are affected by influenza, according to WebMD. The flu is a highly contagious respiratory virus that can be spread through “airborne respiratory droplets” such as coughs and sneezes, physical contact, saliva and contaminated surfaces. The flu can often last between 3 and 7 days but fatigue and coughing can last for an additional 2 weeks after that. The symptoms of the flu include fevers, coughs,  runny or stuffy noses,  sore throats, fatigue, achy bodies, and chills. During the fall and winter months, “…we see a lot of stomach illness and body aches,” three year PRHS site nurse Kelly Mcneal said.

       The Center for Disease Control strongly advises people to get an annual flu shot in order to prevent the flu but luckily there are several ways to prevent and soothe the bug without having to be injected with a needle. “Prevention is key,” seven year district nurse Ashley Aiello said. Washing hands frequently, eating a balanced

diet, getting at least 8 hours of sleep and keeping hands, pens and pencils out of one’s mouth are the principle preventing factors to an illness according to Aiello.

   Staying active and getting exercise is another contributing factor to preventing the influenza virus.  “Staying fit will help you heal quicker [when you get sick],” Life Fitness teacher Cara Macomber said.

    The first steps to reducing the amount of time and discomfort spent in bed is drinking plenty of fluids. “Studies show that warm fluids clear the nasal passage and helps with congestion, along with soothing a sore throat,” Aiello said. Drinking warm beverages such as herbal tea with honey and eating nutrient-rich soups can relieve the symptoms of a flu.

    Macomber advises students to stay home if they do become ill and email teachers for assignments to keep up with their studies.

“​If you aren’t taking care of yourself and your health then keeping up with your studies is going to prove a difficult task.  It all starts with a healthy diet, making sure you are getting enough sleep and keeping your body moving,” Mcneal said.

Knocking out the flu bug is not a fun task and taking steps to prevent it will help relieve the stress of making up weeks worth of school work and the days spent in bed.


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