Swine Flu 101: College Survival Tips (cont.)

2. Butter up your friends. You might need them as a "flu buddy" to help you keep up with class notes, assignments, food, supplies, and anything else you need from the outside world while you're in your swine flu bubble.

3. Clean up your crib. Got a sick roommate? Their germs can linger, so it's in your best interest to regularly clean shared surfaces such as doorknobs. Of course, you'll also need to keep your hands clean. Don't sneeze into them; use a tissue (once, and then throw it out) or your arm.

4. Build your flu supply stockpile. Just in case, stock your dorm room with tissues, a thermometer, and plenty of liquids so that you stay hydrated.

5. Alcohol? No go. Don't even think about putting alcohol on your liquid list, even if you're old enough to buy it legally. It's dehydrating, which is the opposite of what you'll need to avoid getting dehydrated by flu.

6. Can't avoid close contact? Get face masks. If you live on campus and get flu, you could move home temporarily while you recover. But if that isn't possible, and you can't (or won't) avoid close contact with other people -- which means being within 6 feet of them -- the CDC recommends that you wear surgical face masks to keep your germs to yourself. Don't reuse those face masks; they're made to be worn only once.

7. "Close contact" doesn't just mean kissing. Yes, you can spread your germs by kissing someone. But you don't have to be that close. Anywhere within 6 feet is close enough for your droplets to spread. So that's how far you need to stay away from people, unless you're wearing a face mask, to spare them your flu.

8. Don't take aspirin. Teens shouldn't take aspirin because of the risk of a rare but serious illness called Reye's syndrome. That includes baby aspirin. And at any age, follow the instructions exactly for any medicine, even if you bought it without a prescription, to avoid harmful side effects.

9. Your health: Hot or not? Certain medical conditions -- including asthma, diabetes, and pregnancy -- worsen your odds with swine flu. And some of those conditions, like diabetes, aren't always obvious. So even if you feel great, it wouldn't hurt to check with a health care provider to make sure you're as healthy as you think.

10. Misery loves company. If you get flu, there is one group of people you can still hang out with, face to face, without face masks and a gallon of hand sanitizer. "Ill students do not need to stay away from other ill students," the CDC's web site states. Maybe swine flu will actually widen your social circle. Just try to avoid sickening healthy bystanders.

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