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Bailey Poolman - Girl on Fire

I’m back and spreading awareness

Hello! I bet you thought you all were rid of me by now, but that ain’t the case. I’m planning on being here once a month to continue with something I’ve always enjoyed, writing, but I’m hoping to pass along some interesting medical tidbits while I’m here.

First, I want to let you all know I really enjoy my new position as an EMT in Lenox. In the past few weeks I’ve made new friends, learned from old ones and discovered how much this decision was best for me.

Second, I want to spread a little awareness with my column. There are so many medical conditions people suffer from, and different situations that lead to trauma that I think we should all be a little more aware of what’s going on in the world.

Now that September is nearly over, the temperature outside is dropping, we’re all turning off our air conditioners and even the past few days shows how soggy it can get outside. Add on various boosts in workload, extra athletic workouts outside and overall stress and your immune system can dip significantly, leading to influenza.

Influenza, or the flu, kills approximately 36,000 people each year, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, this may not seem like a significant number when compared to the amount of people living in the United States, but the flu is a preventable illness.

I’m not saying get a flu shot, but I do think it’s something to consider if you believe you or someone you’re close to is susceptible to it. Just keep in mind, the flu shot is made for a specific strain or more of the flu. But, really, there are other things that can help prevent death by flu, according to the CDC.

First, if you suspect the flu, get checked within the first week. The flu tests used in urgent care or emergency settings may not work after the first week. Or, some tests may give false negatives.

Second, wash your hands. There is no other better way to prevent the spread of germs than to wash your hands. Always wash with hot water and soap, cleansing even the tips of your fingers. But, if soap and water are unavailable, be sure to use an alcohol-based sanitizer.

Third, stay home when you’re sick. By staying home and staying away from others, you can infinitely decrease the amount of germs you spread. This is especially important for those with dipping immune systems, such as the elderly.

Everyone, please keep an eye out and take care of yourselves. You are the best judge for your own body; if you don’t feel like your usual self, care for your body.

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Contact the writer:

Twitter – @iowafiregirl13

Email – bpoolman@gmail.com

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