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College Girl’s Guide to Avoiding the Flu this season

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The main flu subtype sweeping the U.S. is known as H3N2 and according to Vox, the flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective this season.

Coming from a girl who just survived the flu, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.  According to USA Today, 53 children have died as hospitalization rates soar. To help you avoid this health epidemic, here are some tips to help you stay well this flu season:

GIF: Giphy

Get the flu shot

Although the doctors I saw and all the doctors on the news have said that this year’s flu vaccine is ineffective, get it. Brave the needle. It’s better to be safe than sorry.


Wash your hands and avoid touching your face and mouth

Think about all of the things your hands touch on a daily basis. Gross, right? WASH. YOUR. HANDS. Even after washing them, your hands are still dangerous culprits for the flu. Keep them far away from your face.


Exercise regularly

Staying active will not only boost your immune system but also arguably make you feel better in the long run.

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Eat foods that boost your immune system

This includes tea, citrus, ginger, turmeric, and other natural remedies.


Invest in a Steripod

These $6 clips will, not only save your toothbrush from those questionable bathroom sinks, but also the flu virus that’s floating in the air.


Drink lots of water

Yes, this is your excuse to buy that cute water bottle. However, avoid water fountains due to the spread of germs. Maybe it’s time to finally invest in that Brita filter?


Don’t put your backpack on your bed/chair/desk

After hitting bathroom, classroom, library, and so many other floors, your backpack is the bearer of all things bad.

GIF: Tumblr

Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.

This may be the most coveted thing in college life, but during flu season, it needs to be a priority.  Get in that eight hours of sleep.


Avoid large crowds

This is probably the most difficult thing to do, especially at a large public university. Being in large crowds is where you are definitely putting yourself at risk for getting sick.


Ditch the booze

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol can weaken your immune system. Take a break from the party life this flu season.

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Carry hand sanitizer and disinfect your belongings

Hand sanitizer is a huge lifesaver for the productive, on-the-go student like you. Additionally, don’t hesitate to douse your entire dorm with disinfectant spray. Make sure to encourage this, since it may be the only clean environment you have on campus. Whether it be your phone, laptop, or iPad, you touch these things every hour of every day of every week of every month. These items are carrying the most germs out of every item you own. Disinfect everything.


Stay away from sick people

Finally, if you hear a cough, sneeze, or sniffle, run away. Far, far away.



I'm Molly, USF's Editor-in-Chief! 
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