Don’t let the flu get you

Coughs, sneezes, fevers and the flu have kept Health Services busy.  California Lutheran University has been full of sick students as allergies and illnesses kick in.

“It is typical for this time of year,” Director of Health Services Kerri Lauchner said. “We have been seeing some students with the flu, mononucleosis, strep throat and many colds.”

With students in close quarters, illnesses are much easier to pass on. In order to prevent this, Health Services Physician Assistant, Brandy Falls, gave tips to avoiding sickness.

“The flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the virus,” Falls said. “Hand washing is a very important part of prevention. After that it is the basics: good sleep, vitamin C, fluids and healthy foods.”

The big message here is sleep, which can often be hard to find for college students. However, following those easy steps cannot only protect you, but also your peers. For those who are sick, it is important to do their part as well.

“If you have a fever, please stay in your room or come to Health Services if needed until your temperature is below 100 degrees for 24 hours without the use of medication,” Lauchner said.

Even though staying in bed and missing class can be a tough decision, it is necessary in preventing the spread of illnesses.

There is good news, however.

“Most of my professors have been pretty helpful if I needed to miss class,”senior Andrea Brackpool said. “They understand that I should probably stay home and get better, instead of getting everybody else sick.”

Another way to prevent the spreading of illness is to get vaccinated.

“We have routine vaccines, flu vaccines and some travel vaccines,” Lauchner said.

The cost of each vaccine depends on which one you need, but the flu vaccine is $20. Unfortunately, some students did not know this service was offered at Health Services.

For illnesses that do not correspond with a vaccine, there are many cure remedies and medications that you can try.

“For runny noses and nasal congestion, we recommend hot showers, warm compresses to the face and sometimes saline nasal sprays or rinses,” Lauchner said. “For coughs, we recommend over the counter cough syrups and steam from a shower can help as well.”

Another common cause of sneezing and runny noses is allergies as we enter the spring season.

“Allergies have also been on the rise lately due to the hot winds and blooming flowers,” Falls said.

Everyday illnesses like colds and even the flu are fixed with rest, fluids and medication.

However, if you have a bigger illness, there is a resource that students may not know about.

“Insurance has evolved, and it used to be a mandatory thing for Cal Lutheran students,” Tom Marsh, business controller, said. “With Obamacare and the introduction of the health marketplace, it’s become an optional thing.”

For the majority of students at Cal Lutheran, you are not required to have insurance to be welcomed into the school. However, if you are in need of it or want it, they have insurance that you can purchase through UnitedHealthcare.

There are many resources at your disposal as a student at Cal Lutheran, so take advantage of it and always remember to cover your cough.

Makenna Pellerin
Staff Writer
Published March 9th, 2016