Season change usually comes along with a headache, runny nose, sore throat, coughing, sneezing and other cold and flu symptoms.

Five percent to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu on average each year, according to the CDC Foundation, an independent nonprofit and the sole entity created by Congress to mobilize philanthropic and private-sector resources to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s critical health protection work.

“Your body is pretty much used to used to the surrounding temperature it’s in,” senior nursing major Emily Haibon said. “So when the weather changes, it’s kind of a shock to you body.”

She said this little shock can cause stress on the body, which makes it more likely for people to get sick.

“Any stress on the body, whether it’s your actually being stressed or being overly tired for example, can make you more susceptible to bacteria or viruses since it’s not focused on fighting off infection,” she said. “Bacteria and viruses thrive better in colder temperatures. Think about why we get fevers when we are sick, it’s the body’s own way of trying to get rid of the infection by raising the internal temperature.”

This is also the reason why people have the flu more often in winter. To avoid getting sick when the season shifts, sophomore nursing major Samantha Yap said people should drink more water because water comprises from 75 percent body weights. She also said resting and having a good hygiene such as washing hands regularly are good habits in order to fight the cold.

Yap said honey green tea is also recommended because it is a natural antibiotic.

“Avoid large crowds when you can,” Haibon said. “More people being in a compact place increases your chances of getting sick. Making sure you are not sharing anything with people that are sick will also lessen the chance of germs spreading.”

She also emphasized how stressed people are can weaken the immune system, which can lead to people’s becoming susceptible to catch a cold. To strengthen immune system, Haibon said people should make sure they are getting enough sleep and stay hydrated. Vitamin C is recommended. She said people can either drink orange juice or eat citrus fruits.

“Make sure you’re starting to wear proper clothes appropriate for the weather,” Haibon said. “Since it’s starting to get colder, make sure you bring an extra jacket or wear layers to keep you warm.”

If Haibon ever gets sick, she said she always make sure she is resting up and not overdoing any activities because overworking herself is going to exhaust her body more and make it longer for her to recover.

“If I am sick, I always cover my mouth when I cough,” Yap said. “I also put some honey in my green tea to ease my throats. Also wash your hands. That is the most important thing to prevent the spread of bacteria or germs.”

 

Email Hilly Nguyen at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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