Stay safe with Pierce College this flu season

Registered Nurse Rebecca Tomal gives a flu shot to Pierce student Cinthia Arodillas at the Nov. 1 flu shot clinic at Pierce Puyallup.

Flu season is upon us and several Pierce Puyallup students got a low-cost jump on it by getting a flu shot Nov. 1. Each year, the offices of Student Life at Puyallup and Fort Steilacoom arrange for low cost flu shots for Pierce students.

At Puyallup, this year’s shots were $2. The price and date has not yet been set for Pierce Fort Steilacoom, but shots will be offered during winter quarter.

With or without a flu shot, there are things you can do to up your odds of staying healthy. Here are some tips for staying safe:

• Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or upper arm (not into your hand).

• Wash your hands with soap for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” (about 30 seconds) after you use the restroom, before you eat, or if you have a lot of hand-to-hand contact with others.

• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth as much possible.

• This probably sounds like a no-brainer, but don’t cuddle up with sick people.

If you get sick, here’s what you should know about the flu:

• Flu is distinguished from colds and allergies by a fever of 100 degrees or higher. Other flu symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and diarrhea or vomiting.

• If you have the flu (or just think you do), stay home and avoid contact with others for at least 24 hours after your fever drops below 100. Do not come to class if you’re sick.

• Once you’ve been fever-free for 24 hours, resume your normal schedule, but try to limit activity as much as possible while you gain your strength. Returning to strenuous activity too soon can lead to a longer recover time.

Avoiding the flu will ensure you have a safe, fun, healthy winter.

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