Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Flu at a glance

  • Influenza, commonly called the flu, is always caused by a virus. Antibiotics will not help, unless the person develops a secondary bacterial infection.
  • The symptoms usually come on abruptly.
  • A person with the flu often experiences a "knocked-off-your-feet" feeling with muscle aches in the back and legs and a high fever (up to 40°C / 104°F). The fever typically begins to subside on the second or third day.
  • Many people will develop a cough (which is usually dry and can be severe) and chest pains.
  • Some will develop a runny nose and sore throat.
  • Fatigue and weakness may continue for days or even weeks.
  • To help your body fight the flu, rest in bed, and drink plenty of fluids.  Pain relievers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen , decongestants, and cough suppressants may keep you more comfortable as you recover.
Prevention tip
  • Consider getting a flu shot. Talk to your doctor about it.
  • Get plenty of sleep, reduce stress, and eat lots of fruit and vegetables
 With thanks to Health Promotion and Preventative Services, University of Arizona

Sore Throats At A Glance

Sore throats at a glance
  • Most throat infections are caused by viruses or irritants, such as allergies or cigarette smoke. However, some sore throats are caused by bacteria.
  • Symptoms often include pain when swallowing and dry and scratchy throat.

FACT:  The cold or flu virus can live on various surfaces for up to several hours or longer.  Surfaces such as keyboards, photocopiers, door handles, etc. can be highly contaminated.  Wash your hands with soap and water after touching them or use a waterless hand sanitizer.

  • A sore throat is a frequent symptom of colds and respiratory tract infections.
  • Most sore throats are caused by a virus or irritation from the air, and antibiotic treatment will not help. If the onset of pain is sudden, swallowing hurts, and a fever is present it may be bacterial and you should see a doctor.
  • Rest, over-the-counter medicines and other self-care methods may help you feel better.
  • Most sore throats will improve on their own within 1-2 weeks. However, you should seek medical care if you have difficulty swallowing or breathing or your symptoms are severe or unusual, or last longer than 1-2 weeks.
Prevention tip
·      Wash your hands often, especially when you are around people who are sick.
·     Keep your resistance up by leading a healthy lifestyle.

 With thanks to Health Promotion and Preventative Services, University of Arizona

Cyber & Text Bullying

The first step to ending bulling is to speak to someone. If you are bullied by a student contact  Cindy Dring, Health Promotion Officer, at 091-492048. Alternatively, e-mail her at or just drop in to Aras Ni Eimhigh. has a very useful page on bullying explaining what it is, who does it, how you can stop bullies hurting you or your friends. Check out the facts at Cyber and text bullying.

And remember, don't be a bystander to bullying...


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Colds at a glance

  • Colds are caused by viruses, and don’t usually require a doctor’s care. Once you have it, it must ‘run its course’.
  • Symptoms of the common cold usually begin 2-3 days after infection with the virus and last from 2-14 days.
  • They often include nasal congestion, sneezing, sore throat, and coughing.
  • Individuals with colds should always sneeze or cough into a facial tissue, and promptly throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your upper arm, rather than your hand.
  • To help your body fight a cold, rest in bed, drink plenty of fluids, and gargle with warm salt water.   Try 2 teaspoons of honey to help reduce coughing and soothe your throat.  Over-the-counter pain relievers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (not aspirin), decongestants, and cough suppressants may be used to help relieve symptoms.  

Prevention tip
Avoid touching the nose, mouth or eyes.  Hand washing is the simplest and most effective way to keep from getting colds and flu and other illness, especially before eating or handling food.  Lather with soap and wash hands and wrists thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.  

 With thanks to Health Promotion and Preventative Services, University of Arizona

Sick Happens...


BUT – You can…                
Protect yourself and others from:

·        Colds
·        Flu
·        Upper respiratory infections
·        Sore throat
·        Stomach & intestinal illness
·        Other ailments
By doing these:

·        Wash your hands with soap and water or a waterless hand sanitizer
·        Avoid touching your eyes, nose & mouth
·        Get plenty of rest
·        Stay hydrated
·        Eat nutritious foods
·        Stay home if you are sick
·        Seek medical care if you need help
·        Reduce stress
·        Cover your coughs and sneezes

With thanks to Health Promotion and Preventative Services, University of Arizona

Tips for Staying Healthy on Campus - Relaxation

Here's the fourth of a series of tips for staying healthy on campus, put together by Cindy Dring of Student Services Health Promotion

Make time to relax
You may think that taking a few minutes to unwind at the end of the day is all the relaxation you need. Unfortunately, a few minutes won't provide the stress-reducing benefits of deep relaxation.
With so many things to do, it's easy to put off taking time to relax each day. But in doing so, you miss out on the health benefits of relaxation. Relaxation can improve how your body responds to stress.

After practicing relaxation skills, you may experience: 
*Fewer symptoms of illness, such as headaches, nausea, diarrhoea and pain
*Few emotional responses such as anger, crying, anxiety, apprehension and frustration
*More energy
*Improved concentration
*Greater ability to handle problems
*More efficiency in daily activities

As you learn to relax, you'll become more aware of muscle tension and other physical sensations caused by the stress response. In time, you may even notice your body's reaction before you take mental note of your stress. Once you know what the stress response feels like, you can make a conscious effort to switch to relaxation mode the moment your muscles start to tense.

For more on relaxing, download the short guided relaxation audio files on the Counselling Service website.

Related articles:
Tips for Staying Healthy On Campus - Food & Water
Tips for Staying Healthy on Campus - Sleep 
Active Travel in Galway – Walking and Cycling  

For more on how to look good, feel good and be in charge of your life as a student at NUI Galway check out Student's Services Health Promotion
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Friday, 26 October 2012

Halloween Horror – Galway Lad Becomes A Zombie!

We always think that bad things happen to other people, that somebody else will become a zombie – not me. But the truth is anyone can turn into a flesh eating abomination.

Shuggie O’Shea was a first year science student at NUI Galway.  Last year he found himself at a Halloween drinking session in Galway's Latin Quarter. Shuggie was dressed up as Dr. Frank-N-Furter. After a failed attempt at doing the time warp dance he decided he would try to impress his friends by breaking the world record for getting pissed the fastest.

Figuring the swiftest route to his brain was via his nasal cavity, Shuggie attached one end of a hose pipe to a barrel of lager and inserted the other end up his nose. After pushing the hose in as deep as it would go he shouted out, 'Release the lager!'

Sadly the barrel's flow valve broke, and ten gallons of the lager shot into Shuggie's skull with the force of a rocket propelled grenade.  As well wishers cheered and whistled their appreciation, the bold Shug's head exploded in a shower of alcohol and brain matter.

His fellow imbibers quickly realized something was wrong. For though the top of his head was missing, Shuggie’s managed to push himself back onto his feet.  Then, instead of heading to the bar for a drink as expected, he grabbed a Mad Hatter from Ballybane and proceeded to bite into his skull, all the while groaning and drooling, ‘brains, I must have brains.’

Shuggie had in fact died when his brains had been blown out. Unfortunately he was too drunk to realize what had happened and his body remained sickenly animate.  Animate and hungry - for human flesh…

So remember if you are going out this Halloween, keep an eye out for Shuggie the Zombie, and try not to get pissed to impress all your friends…

For more Halloween Tips check out SpunOut's: Avoid Halloween Horrors

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