Wellness Center to provide health education during Flu season

Photo courtesy of Leslie Ovalle

Leslie Ovalle/Contributing writer

With Flu season affecting students, the Wellness Center has prepared multiple event days to educate on making healthier choices during the month in the Graham Center.

Through its Cold and Flu Random Acts of Wellness, the center will promote educative sessions with freebies and goodies to help students remain healthy during the season, said Ebonie Parris, wellness coordinator of University Health Services.

According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, common symptoms and signs of flu include high fever, cough, runny nose, body aches, headaches, and fatigue. It is spread by cough, sneezes, and even talking.

In the northern hemisphere, the flu season typically lasts from October to May, so the Cold and Flu RAW days will help provide information on effective ways to prepare.

Parris said that the days will consist of educational information, surveys, and Cold and Flu Packs which include hand sanitizers, tissues, informational palm cards, and homemade cold and flu aromatherapy blends. She said these are goods to help students stay healthy.

The aromatherapy blends are available at the Wellness Center and are meant to open up the sinuses through the aromatherapy of essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, and pine needle.

The homemade cold and flu blend, along with many other purposeful aromatherapy blends available at the Wellness Center, are made by Shardai Thompson, a junior biology major and wellness assistant.

Thompson is the Aromatherapy Lead, and she researches various essential oils and their purposes and with this is able to come up with a variety of concoctions. The blend in the flu packs will open up the sinuses through the aromatherapy of essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, and pine needle.

Some students like Dalgis Morejon, a sophomore international relations major, prepare for the flu season by often washing their hands throughout the day.

Morejon said she uses hand sanitizer when a sink is not near and she takes Vitamin C tablets to support her immune system.

“I like looking for natural ways, like taking Vitamin C and eating foods that are high in Vitamin C, to keep my immune system at its best,” Morejon said.

Besides encouraging students to fight against the infection, students who are interested in the health field also benefit. According to Parris, RAW days are planned by Student Health Services Wellness Assistants who are majoring in that area.

“By planning these events and participating in the events, these students get experience in their field of interest,” Parris said. “These students will be educating others on how to prepare for this cold and flu season.”

Thompson said that being a wellness assistant has helped her to decide if she is following the right career path for her.

“This is a job that is related to what I want to do [in the future],” said Thompson. “It gives me an opportunity to see if I’m in the right field.”

The CDC and the World Health Organization state that the most effective way to prepare is for everyone to get vaccinated unless they have certain conditions like Guillain-Barre syndrome. These conditions can be discussed with FIU Health Services.

According to SHS, the vaccine is available at its clinic and is free for students. For non-students, the vaccine costs $20.00, but the cost can be covered by most insurance plans. Both appointments and walk-ins are accepted.

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