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Welcome to sick season! It’s flu season, cold season, and now, Covid-19 season (which seems to be never-ending at this moment). I have been lucky enough to get a sinus infection and now a cold twice in one month. Tired of this pattern, I asked a nurse practitioner how to avoid getting these little infections so often. Here are some of the tips that he told me. 

Tip #1: Wash your hands and wash them often

This is quite a popular tip, especially nowadays with Covid-19. According to the CDC, you should wash your hands anytime you’re about to eat food or right after, after you go to the bathroom (can’t believe I have to write that), when you’re around a sick person, and many other times. When washing your hands, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. NPR’s website gives several funny songs/song verses to sing that are 20-30 seconds long. 

Tip #2: Up your daily fluid intake

Unfortunately, wine doesn’t count as daily fluid. Here your daily fluid intake means drinking water. Everyone’s daily water intake can vary based on your weight and gender, but Harvard Health states that, “The daily four-to-six cup rule is for generally healthy people.” 

Tip #3: Use the Neti-Pot or a saline nose spray

By using a saline nose spray or the Neti-Pot daily, you can keep your cilia in your nose healthy. Cilia are those tiny hairs in your nose that catch bacteria. By cleaning out your nose, those hairs will be more likely to catch bateria before it gives you an infection. 

Tip #4: Avoid sniffling all day

This is a weird tip that I wouldn’t have considered before. You all know the sniffle that you do all day long because you don’t want to get up 329 times to get a tissue. The nurse practitioner said that by not blowing your nose and sniffing up the bacteria, you have a better chance of getting a sinus infection. That bacteria is going to get shoved up your nose all day and sit in that warm, moist area and make you sick. 

While these tips aren’t 100% foolproof, they may be able to prevent you from getting sick more often. These tips will also help you be a little healthier in your day-to-day life. Overall, washing your hands is a key to keep from getting sick, so wash your hands and blow your nose!

Helena Sherman is a senior majoring in elementary education and will be pursuing her master's degree in early childhood with +30 credits in literacy. She is a writer for HerCampus and is on the Heller Leadership Team. She describes herself as a curly-haired Jesus freak. Her passions include reading, talking, and musical theatre.
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