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Avoiding Sniffles and Scratchy Throats this Semester 

Medical Director of Student Health Services Rebecca Kobos, M.D. (Photo by Mark Schmidt) 

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 22, 2016) – With the start of the new semester and the ongoing inconsistent winter weather, Student Health Services Medical Director Rebecca Kobos, M.D. has a few common sense tips to help keep students healthy.

Her recommendations include:

Get Vaccinated. Flu season is here and once again the recommendation for an annual flu vaccine is valid and can help prevent the spread of this virus. The flu is certainly not the only virus out there, but it's one that frequently keeps people out of school and work and can be prevented and/or alleviated with an annual vaccine. Use your zip code to help you find a nearby location if you want to get a flu shot.

Cover your cough. Respiratory hygiene is important when living and interacting on a campus environment. Keep your hands free from germs, by coughing into your elbow or arm, not your hands. If a tissue isn’t handy, this method works for sneezing as well.

Wash your hands FREQUENTLY. The best way to prevent the spread of illness and germs is to wash your hands. Do you know how long to wash your hands? Sing the "Happy Birthday song" while you wash your hands and you've got it. About 20 seconds is all you need to keep your hands free from germs. And don’t become over reliant on the antibacterial pocketbacs. They often strip your skin of valuable bacteria. Soap and water are your best bet.

• Get adequate sleep. An often overlooked aspect of wellness is sleep. Averaging seven to nine hours of sleep/night is recommended for college-aged students.

Maintain a healthy diet and exercise plan. It’s very simple: be active and stay hydrated. Thirty minutes of activity/day five days a week is the goal.

Practice safe sex. If you are sexually active, please practice safe sex. Student Health Services recommends screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and can provide such to students.

Live clean. Your best bet for optimum health is to avoid drugs, alcohol and smoking.

A graduate of Villanova University, Dr. Kobos received her graduate medical training at the Health Science Center in Syracuse and served as a resident physician and chief resident at Albany Medical Center. Dr. Kobos is board certified in family practice.

Student Health Services is here to help. If you would like to set up a time to speak to a provider, you can reach Student Health Services at (518) 442-5229 or go online to schedule an appointment.

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