GI viruses

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It seems we have a stomach virus traveling through some of our schools.  Please remind our students to use good hand washing throughout the day. Remind parents not to send students to school if they have been vomiting during the past 24 hours.

Wipe down high touch area such as door knobs and desks with antibacterial wipes or soap and water.  

Here are some tips to help boost your immune system to stay healthy in this season of illness. 

While we all know the importance of good hand hygiene to keep germs away, here are a few tips on how to boost your immune systems and stay healthy all year.

1.          Get enough sleep and manage stress. Sleep deprivation and stress overload increase the hormone Cortisol (stress hormone), prolonged elevation of which suppresses immune function.. It may also lead to more inflammation in your body. Usually 7 to 9 hours of sleep for an adult is key for good health.

2.          Exercise. Try to get regular, moderate exercise, like a daily 30-minute walk. It can help your immune system fight infection. If you don't exercise regularly, you're more likely to get colds, for example, than someone who does. Exercise can also boost your body's feel-good chemicals and help you sleep better. Both of those are good for your immune system.

3.          Avoid tobacco smoke. It undermines basic immune defenses and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia in everyone, and middle ear infections in kids.

4.          Drink less alcohol. Excessive consumption impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to lung infections.

5.          Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, which will provide your body with the nutrients your immune system needs. A study in older adults showed that boosting fruit and vegetable intake improved antibody response to the Pneumovax vaccine, which protects against Streptococcus pneumonia. Other foods particularly good for your immune system include fresh garlic, which may help fight viruses and bacteria, and old-fashioned chicken soup. If you do come down with a cold or the flu, a bowl of chicken soup can help you get well faster, one study shows. Some mushroom varieties -- such as shiitake -- may also help your immune system.

6.          Consider probiotics. Studies indicate supplements reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.  Fermented milk products have also been shown to reduce respiratory infections in adults and kids.

7.          Catch some rays. Sunlight triggers the skin’s production of vitamin D. In the summer, a 10-15 minute exposure (minus sunscreen) is enough. Low vitamin D levels correlate with a greater risk of respiratory infection. A 2010 study in kids showed that 1200 IU a day of supplemental vitamin D reduced the risk of influenza A.

8.          Laugh. Laughing is good for you. It curbs the levels of stress hormones in your body and boosts a type of white blood cell that fights infection. Just anticipating a funny event can have a positive effect on your immune system. In one study, men were told 3 days in advance that they were going to watch a funny video. Their levels of stress hormones dropped.