Five tips to avoid getting sick

Do you have students in your classes sniffing, sneezing and coughing? Summer is slowly fading away and we are getting deeper and deeper into fall. Although it comes with cooler weather that Floridians anticipate for, unfortunately the flu tags along as well. Here are some tips for you on how to stay healthy.
As your classes get busier week by week, the last thing you want is to be in bed, sick all day. Getting the flu isn’t a fun, one or two-day sore throat inconvenience.
“It can make you very ill and can linger for a week or more,” said Eileen Dondero, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Dondero said it is more likely to see a cold and the flu spread when you have a group of people in close contact such as school or dormitory living.
“I get the flu shot every year,” said Kate Moran, senior English major. She used to get sick a lot when she was younger, so it has become very important for her to keep her immune system strong. She knows there is controversy whether one should get the shot or not, but for her it was worth it. “I haven’t gotten a flu through my durations with the flu shot,” she said.
However, if you do start feeling a little bit under the weather, remember that you don’t have to run straight to the doctor. Dondero said you could start by getting enough rest and fluids, and treating your symptoms with over the counter products.
Some people might even have some more traditional remedies for cold. Mark Massaro, senior English major, said that when he gets sick, usually once a year, he uses his Italian grandmother’s remedy. He boils water, then when it’s done, he holds his head over it and let’s the steam do the job. He believes sweating it out helps a lot. “It usually works for everything,” Massaro said.
These tips on how to avoid getting sick might seem like common sense. You probably have heard them quite a bit. However, we still tend to neglect them sometimes. A little reminder can’t hurt. Keep those tips in mind, so you won’t be the student walking into class with a box of Kleenex.
Here are nurse practitioner Eileen Dondero’s five tips to keep you well: 
Get the flu shot 
“I cannot stress enough the value of getting an annual flu vaccine,” Dondero said. according to the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and can last as late as May. The earlier you get it the better. For the most efficient protection, the CDC suggests that people get vaccinated soon after vaccines become available around October.
Flu shots are now available at FGCU for $15 with an appointment.
Eat right
Having a nutritious diet will ensure that your body is getting the needed vitamins and nutrients so your immune system remains strong and protects you from catching a cold. Some people might prefer taking additional vitamins, but Dondero believes in natural vitamins found in food. “I am a believer in just plain healthy eating which includes enough vegetables and one or two pieces of fruit a day,” Dondero said.
Shoot for somewhere between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Getting a good night sleep will help your body rest, recharge and recover. It’s much easier to get sick if you run on only a couple hours of sleep. Junior English major Kelsey Abell said she usually gets sick twice a year, and it’s during those times when she is very busy and doesn’t get enough sleep.
Wash your hands 
There are so many things on campus that we use right after someone else has used them such as computers, bathrooms, desks and the list goes on and on. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water or using instant hand sanitizers will protect you from germs.
If possible, avoid contact with sick people 
If you are sick, keep your distance from others in order to protect them from getting sick too.
Dondero said it is more likely to see a cold and the flu spread when you have a group of people in close contact such as school or dormitory living.