Emergency Management Offers Tips for Cold and Flu Prevention

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT | Dec. 5-11 is National Influenza Vaccination Week. In accord with FEMA and Ready.gov monthly preparedness themes, LMU Emergency Management is pleased to share the following tips for cold and flu prevention.

  1. Get your annual flu shot. Not only does it keep you healthy, but it also minimizes your risk of contracting symptoms that could be confused with COVID-19.
  2. If you feel ill, even with mild cold symptoms, seek medical attention and stay home from work, school and errands. Staying home when sick is a courtesy to friends and coworkers, to ensure they aren’t also knocked down by the same cold.
  3. Cover your cough or sneeze with the crook of your elbow or a tissue. Then, throw the tissue in the trash. Covering your mouth with your hands increases the likelihood that germs will be passed on via high-touch surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, etc.)
  4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Don’t bite your nails, either. That’s how germs are most likely to spread.
  5. Wash your hands often with soap and hot water, for 20 seconds (sing “happy birthday” twice to time yourself). Make this a habit each time you return home from being out. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  6. Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces. Use soap or disinfecting products to kill germs.
  7. Get adequate sleep. Sleep deprivation can compromise the immune system – aim for 7-9 hours per night.
  8. Exercise. Staying fit boosts your immunity and helps manage stress, both of which minimize your risk of getting sick.
  9. Eat healthy. A healthy diet, with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, ensures you are getting vital nutrients to keep your immune levels high.
  10. Drink lots of water. Water flushes out toxins – and if you get sick, hydration aids in a quicker recovery.
  11. If you catch the flu, stay home until 24 hours after the fever has subsided without the help of medicine. This is a good sign that you’re on the mend.

Students can book an appointment to get their seasonal flu shot at Student Health Services – simply call 310.338.2881 or use the MyHealth Portal (accessed in the “Systems Logins” tab in your MyLMU account). Staff and faculty can book a flu shot appointment at their local pharmacy or primary medical provider. Additional vaccination resources can be found by calling 2-1-1 or visiting the L.A. County’s influenza page.

For more tips for remaining healthy during cold and flu season, visit the CDC’s influenza page. You can read more about healthy habits for preventing the flu, learn who is at higher risk for serious cases, get support resources, and even view the seasonal flu tracker map to see where transmission is highest.