Beating the bug — Staying healthy can be challenging, but there are steps students can take to prevent illnesses.

If you have never been hit with what many call the “Moscow plague,” it is more than likely you know someone who has.

The best time of the year has rolled around to Moscow once again — the time when the sound of coughing and sniffling fill classrooms. The last thing anyone needs is to get sick.

While there is no way to guarantee one’s health this time of year, it is possible to avoid any and all of the germs and illnesses that flood the community at this time in the season. There are many steps students can take to protect themselves.

Every year the University of Idaho hosts a free flu shot clinic for all students. The first one took place in the Kibbie Dome Monday, however, students who missed it are not out of luck — other clinics are set to follow.

The next flu clinic on campus is 1 p.m.  Oct. 11 in the Student Rec Center. For more information on free student flu vaccines, visit the Vandal Health Education page.

Unfortunately, the flu is not the only illness moving around campus and flu shots are not the only way to preserve one’s health.

While taking vitamins, and eating and sleeping well are important pieces of staying healthy, there is one piece that is often overlooked — mental health.

When one’s mental state is less than healthy, the rest of their physical health can deteriorate as well. It is easy to fill our schedules and stay on-the-go, but it can be more than beneficial to plan a day to slow down and take a day for oneself.

If you are sick or even feel like the Moscow plague may be starting to bring you down, don’t stress about missing one meeting or one class. Everyone is human and needs a day to focus solely on personal health.

Proper hygiene also goes a long way in preventing illnesses from spreading. While it may seem like an obvious hygiene habit, there is a reason elementary teachers tell kids to cough into their sleeves and wash their hands often. Those principles apply outside of elementary school and are both key ways illnesses can be contained. Even with the best hygiene and all the flu shots in the world, you may still find yourself knocked on the sofa reaching for any medicine that may ease the pain and discomfort.

The UI Student Health Clinic is open for those days.

The Vandal Health Education page recommends seeing a doctor if a fever hits over 101 degrees Fahrenheit or symptoms worsen.

Trust your body. Trust that you know when you are sick and need medical assistance and when you need to simply take a day off to beat the bug.

—MS


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