Best flu prevention: Wash your hands

School nurse offers advice for avoiding illness


Ava Amos

School nurse Mrs. Courtney Jennings-Sood works in her office earlier this school year.

Nic Napier, Co-Editor-In-Chief

As we are in the middle of winter, the spread of the flu and other diseases is on the rise. With students interacting daily and passing around germs almost every second, it is not surprising to see increase rates of illness. 

The Centers for Disease Control report an early outbreak of the flu this year across several states.

School Nurse Mrs. Courtney Jennings-Sood commented on viruses and diseases she has seen floating around in her office. Although she said that she hasn’t observed too many cases of the respiratory flu, she has seen a lot of stomach viruses, mono and strep throat.

To help prevent getting sick, Jennings-Sood provided some tips on how to stay healthy and stay in school. “The Number-1 proven way to prevent the spread of disease is by hand washing and covering your cough. I recommend cleaning surfaces such as your cellphone, steering wheel nand keys. There was a study that was done that showed that a steering wheel has so many more times the bacteria than a toilet.”

She was in fact correct as cited a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information which stated, “The car’s interior are among the filthiest places on Earth, which can be even dirtier than a toilet seat. In particular, steering wheels are four times dirtier than toilet seats – a very inconvenient truth, considering that it’s the part of the car that we constantly have contact with.”

Jennings-Sood said that high schools during the winter are a breeding ground for viruses and diseases because students come to school even when they are sick sometimes because they feel pressured to meet their deadlines and be there for their tests and quizzes. She added not being vaccinated and not washing your hands frequently can also contribute to the flu problem.

Many teachers on their own frequently wipe down and disinfect the desks in the classrooms on a regular basis to help keep their students healthy, as this type of cleaning is not usually done by custodial staff.

WebMD explains in an article that the “the virus lives longer indoors in winter, because the air is less humid than outside (and) we spend more time indoors and have closer contact with each other, which makes it easier for the virus to spread.”

Take nurse Jennings-Sood’s advice when it comes to washing your hands and be conscientious of your health when coming to school. She said, “Staying home when you’re sick is another good tip.”