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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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University health center offers tips to stay healthy during the holidays

If you sing the tune of "Happy Birthday" to yourself while washing your hands it could improve the chances of keeping your hands clean, and therefore, prevent cold or flu viruses from spreading - as long as you sing it twice, says Dr. Sidney Webb.

Director of University Health Center Dr. Sidney Webb, at center, and nurses Lynette Goehler and Coryle Summers wash their hands as a preventative measure against the cold virus. (NMSU Photo by Daniella De Luca)

Webb is the newly hired Director of New Mexico State University's Health Center, located at NMSU main campus in the Genesis Center Building C. The University Health Center offers health services and counseling to NMSU employees, faculty and staff during the academic year.

Experts say taking simple, preventative measures such as getting a flu shot can prevent the spread of viruses this holiday season. "There's enough vaccine to go around this year," Webb said. "The recommendation is to get a flu shot prior to the start of this flu season starting in January."

For those who already are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, Webb suggests drinking fluids, taking aspirin and getting plenty of rest. If symptoms persist for longer than a week or involve other complications such as bronchitis, ear infections or pneumonia, the individual should consult with a physician.

The University Health Center will close Dec. 24 and reopen Jan. 5. If an NMSU employee needs consultation during that time, they are advised to see their family doctor.

Health habits from the University Health Center for preventing the flu:

1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
2. Stay home from work, school or running errands when you are sick.
3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing.
4. Clean your hands regularly by washing and using antibacterial hand sanitizer.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth when possible.
6. Practice other good health habits such as getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, managing stress, drinking fluids and eating nutritious food.
7. Receive your flu vaccination prior to the start of the flu season. Flu shots at the health center are available for $20. Call (575) 646-6600 for more information.