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Colds and Flu

Our Approach

Students often report that illness due to cold and flu is one of the main impediments to their academic success at college. Community Health works to provide salient information about colds and flu to students in order to help reduce the prevalence, severity, and impact of these illnesses on campus.

The best way to avoid either a cold or the flu is to wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water or with instant hand sanitizer. Check out this video for a good hand washing technique demonstration: Handwashing technique (YouTube video)

Here's a Flu is Here flyer you can download.

Handwashing campaign flyers for download.  Handwashing is one of the most effective strategies to reduce flu transmission.

Public Health Perspective

  • We know that there are multiple factors that impact our immune systems. Stress, social status, and poor nutrition all contribute to a person’s susceptibility to illness.
  • According to the National College Health Assessment, colds and flu impede students' academic success at CU.

Scientific Evidence Tells Us

Studies have shown that poor sleep is associated with increased susceptibility to colds. Research indicates that the following are the best ways to minimize the transmission of colds and/or flu:

  • Wash hands with soap and water when visibly soiled or with instant hand sanitizer;
  • Cough into the crook of elbow;
  • Practice social distancing by standing or sitting six feet away.

In a published research study, Community Health found that the following hand washing campaign was an effective hand washing intervention. Students exposed to the social marketing materials and readily available hand sanitizer in a residence hall setting washed their hands more frequently, experienced fewer upper respiratory illnesses, and performed better in their classes than those students who did not have these materials available in their living environment. View/download our handwashing campaign (pdf)