Flu season is right around the corner, and with the coronavirus still going around and no vaccine in sight, this winter could prove to be an especially difficult time to avoid getting sick.
Here are some tips provided by Illinois State University's Student Health Services to dodge influenza.
Get your flu shot.
Student Health Services plans to provide free flu shots in the Bone Student Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students can set up an appointment through their health portal.
"We highly recommend all students, faculty and staff get their flu shot this year," Student Health Services Medical Director Dr. Katie Eichinger said.
While COVID-19 symptoms and flu symptoms overlap, Eichinger stresses the importance of getting a flu shot.
“This is why it’s extra important to get your flu shot this year. Eliminating your chances of getting the flu will allow you to be more certain what you’re dealing with should you come down with symptoms,” Eichinger said.
Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer whenever possible.
Eichinger encourages the ISU community to stock up on face masks and hand sanitizer, emphasizing to also continue wearing those face masks and adhere to social distancing.
“As is, typically recommended during this time of year, make sure you’re washing your hands with hot water and soap or utilizing hand sanitizer,” Eichinger said.
Before people start going crazy with their binge shopping, Student Health Services recommends that individuals pick up extra face masks and hand sanitizer to help slow the spread of both the flu and COVID-19.
“Wearing a mask if you’re out in public will reduce transmission of the flu, and you should already be wearing a mask anyway,” Eichinger said.
“Following social distancing guidelines and wearing a mask will help reduce the spread of both diseases.”
If individuals are sick, stay home and rest.
Avoiding contact with symptomatic people, and conversely, staying away from people when experiencing symptoms will reduce the spread of both COVID-19 and influenza drastically.
Rest is also important to the recovery process. If individuals are sick, make sure to rest in bed and avoid all but the most essential traveling.