The semester is in full swing, and so are common illnesses, like the flu, common cold and COVID.
Here are some tips to help you stay healthy this semester and things to do if you end up getting sick.
1. Get vaccinated
Vaccines can help your body’s immune system recognize and defend against a variety of viruses before you get infected. They can also reduce the severity of your symptoms if you end up falling ill.
Here are two vaccines to consider getting this year:
2. Practice good hygiene
Practicing good hygiene habits can help reduce your exposure to germs and viruses and prevent the spread of illnesses.
Here are some ways you can help yourself and others:
3. Sharing isn’t always caring
Avoid sharing personal products and utensils with others. This includes things like lip balm, food, beverages, vapes and other products. You may also choose to wear a mask to reduce your exposure to airborne illnesses. Learn more about how masks can help you stay healthy.
4. Take care of yourself
Did you know that your immune system can be impacted by the things you do every day?
Here are a few ways to take care of yourself this season:
1. Stay home
Here are some more things you can do to prevent the spread of illnesses:
If you live in a residence hall, you may be asked to wear a face covering, limit guests and visitors, limit gathering sizes and physically distance from other residents. Residents who are asked to self-isolate or quarantine by a health professional must comply.
2. Inform your instructors and supervisors
If you are going to miss class or work due to an illness, give your instructors and/or supervisors a heads up.
Reach out to your instructors directly to explain your situation, and let them know you cannot attend class. You should email them any assignments that are due, and let them know you will make up any missed coursework. If you think you may be absent for longer, you should communicate that with them and ask to discuss a plan to keep up in class.
If you need help navigating class requirements while you’re ill, Student Support and Case Management can help you come up with a plan and connect with campus resources.
3. Monitor your systems
Many illnesses share symptoms, and it can be hard to tell exactly what you have, especially in the early days of an infection. For instance, coughing and headaches are common between a variety of illnesses, including the flu, cold and COVID. Testing for COVID can help you narrow down the list of possible illnesses. At-home test kits are available over the counter at the Apothecary Pharmacy and at most local pharmacies.
While you’re sick, be sure to monitor your symptoms. Most illnesses can be managed at home with basic remedies.
Here are a few at-home remedies to try:
Need supplies? Here are some options to get at-home remedies on campus:
If you’re unsure what to do or have additional questions, call your primary care provider or the main line at Medical Services (303-492-5101). You will be connected with a nurse at Medical Services who can discuss your symptoms and treatment options, including whether you should take care of yourself at home or seek medical care. You can also schedule free virtual appointments on-demand through AcademicLiveCare.
It’s also important to keep in mind that there are limited treatment options for the flu and COVID.
4. Seek emergency care if needed
If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, seek emergency medical care immediately:
Call 911 or head to a local emergency room. You can also contact your medical provider if you are experiencing severe symptoms and aren’t sure if you need urgent support.