Students cope with symptoms of cold, flu

Since medical professionals have not found a cure yet for colds and flu, prevention is the only option in fighting off symptoms of the flu and for helping it to keep from spreading.

Wallace Kelley, a registered nurse and an infection control practitioner at the Operations of Infection Control facility in Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, said flu season is “in the late fall and winter.”      

Kelley went on to discuss common flu symptoms.

“You feel like you got hit by a train, your muscles ache, you feel feverish, you don’t feel like doing anything, you feel lethargic – some even experience loss of breath and runitis, which is runny nose,” Kelley said.  

In the cases of having natural illnesses and body disorders, the chances of dying from the flu are much greater than an average person with a cold.

Trae Dashiell, 18, a freshman accounting student from Baltimore, has two blood disorders sickle cell and anemia and the last time he had the flu was November.

“(I was) shivering, feeling very cold my skin was very hot, and I could not walk,” Dashiell said.

“The chances of dying have an effect on the very young and the very old the diseases and conditions that they might have,” Kelley said.

Dashiell gets a cold once to twice a year, which is usually severe but short-term like his flu, which lasted a few hours.           

For students like Dashiell that have certain natural disorders or serious allergies taking any flu fighting medicine that has not been prescribed or getting vaccinated without consulting a doctor first is not suggested.

But it is an option for students like Frank Lamar, 23, an electrical engineering junior from Mobile, Ala. Frank had a cold for five days just a couple of weeks ago.

“I had a fever, runny nose, congestion, cough, body ache and felt sluggish,” Lamar said.

To feel better, Lamar took Robitussin, Dayquil and got some sleep, which is typically what he does whenever he gets a cold.

The active ingredients that are contained in each Vicks Dayquil are Acetaminophen, which relieves pain and reduce fever, Dextromethorphan, which is a cough suppressant and Phenylephrine, a nasal decongestant.

Although these medicines do help the body fight some of the cold or flu symptoms by providing temporary relief, there is no medicine that can cure a cold or flu.

Kelley continued to discuss the improbability of curing colds.

“There is no real prevention of a cold except for zinc tablets,” Kelley said. “The best prevention is hand washing because of touching gas hoses and rails that other people share.”

Kelley also recommended taking certain precautionary methods to prevent colds and flu.

“Hand hygiene: using alcohol hand cleaners, washing your hands frequently, practicing cough etiquette, eating a healthy well-rounded diet, not smoking and getting the flu vaccine every year are common values that can keep you healthy,” Kelley said.

Kelley said cough etiquette is when you cough into your clothes and not your hands.

“The big hallmark is, get the vaccine,” Kelley said. “It’s the best way to prevent the flu.”