Making it through the semester: Tips to staying healthy

by Britteny Johnson, Staff Reporter

Students throughout Simpson College are coming down with all sorts of illnesses, leaving those few who haven’t been hit yet focusing on staying healthy and making it through until the end of the semester. Here are some ways to help stay healthy, and some facts about illnesses, especially the ones being seen around campus, that students should be aware of.

In trying to prevent colds and flu, students should:

1. Get a flu vaccination: Students can go to Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Hy-Vee to get these vaccinations.

2. Wash your hands regularly: When washing hands, it is recommended to rub the soap on the surfaces of your hands for about 20 seconds.

3. It is best to not touch your eyes, nose and mouth: It is important not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth in case you have touched something with cold and flu virus.

4. Avoid close contact with people who are sick: The flu virus is quite contagious. Keeping your distance may be hard on campus, but could save your health in the end.

For more information about how to help prevent the cold and flu, visit Health Services on the second floor of the Kent Campus Center and ask for information and pamphlets.

Two other illnesses that have been making their way around campus are pneumonia and bronchitis. Katie Lee, director of Health Services, said that preventing these diseases starts with taking care of cold and flu symptoms when they arise. Both of these diseases develop from symptoms of the cold and flu.

Trying to prevent bronchitis and pneumonia is the same as trying to prevent the cold and flu. Follow the steps above and check with Health Services if more information is desired.

Understanding the signs for certain illnesses is important to helping catch them before they get too serious. With pneumonia and bronchitis running around campus, students should be aware of what to look for.

“Signs that you may have pneumonia is: cold symptoms that have lasted longer than 14 days and it typically has a wet, productive cough, often green or yellow in color. Bronchitis is when someone presents coughing spasms and it is typically a dry cough,” Lee said.

This semester, at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, there has been an outbreak of mumps with over 100 cases being reported at the school. Mumps is a viral disease that is very contagious; symptoms are swollen salivary glands, fever, headache, muscle ache, fatigue or weakness and pain while chewing or swallowing.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the mumps is an uncommon illness, so doctors will often find that when patients believe they have mumps it is usually inflamed tonsils or blocked salivary glands. Even though this disease has become less common, the outbreak of mumps so close to home makes it especially important for students know how to take care of themselves and to educate themselves about certain serious illnesses.

If students are worried about illnesses and symptoms they are experiencing it is best to check with the school nurse, Katie Lee on the second floor of Kent or with a doctor and not leave it up to chance.