Old fashioned-methods still best way to avoid flu

Kira Meixner

For the approaching flu season, old-fashioned practices may still be the most effective ways for students to avoid getting sick, said Raymond Leone, chief university physician at the DeWeese Health Center.

“It’s like what your grandma told you,” Leone said. “Get a lot of rest, watch what you eat and exercise to stay healthy.”

Leone also recommended that students take a daily multivitamin because very few people eat perfectly. He suggested Centrum or One-A-Day in either a men’s or a women’s formula.

Students should also be aware that flu season begins in October and runs through the end of fall semester, Leone said. Along with seeking the proper immunization, he said students should keep their hands as clean as possible.

“Wash your hands, and then wash them again,” Leone said. “That is still the best way to prevent spreading.”

Hand-sanitizing gel is also an effective germ killer, Leone said, and the cleansing liquid might become available in various campus building entryways in the future.

He also urged all students to get immunized. Flu vaccination clinics will be held on Nov. 2, 7 and 8, he said.

The Portage County Board of Health will host the first clinic at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, and the second and third clinics will be hosted by Health Services and the College of Nursing at the DeWeese Health Center.

Mark Belfer, director of the Center for Family Medicine at Akron General Medical Center and professor of family medicine at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, said being up-to-date on vaccinations is important to staying healthy. In addition to flu vaccinations, all students should be receiving tetanus and meningitis immunizations, Belfer said.

Other ways to avoid sickness are to sleep for seven to eight hours a night and eat well balanced meals, Belfer said. A meal should consist of protein, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, and a small amount of fat, he said. Students should also stay away from tobacco and alcohol products, he said.

“Drink a lot of fluids – water, that is,” Belfer said. “Avoid drugs and alcohol because both reduce immunity, making it easier to get sick.”

Students can also improve their health by walking to and from class, Belfer said. Walking for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, will clear the mind and enhance fitness, he said. Students also should not share hygiene items such as toothbrushes or razors because certain bacterial diseases can be spread that way.

For more information on vaccinations and other health issues, contact the DeWeese Health Center at (330) 672-2322.

Contact health and medical reporter Kira Meixner at [email protected].