Published: Sept. 28, 2016

Viruses like the cold and flu can last 7-10 days, meaning symptoms like a stuffy nose, body aches, fatigue and a sore throat can stick around for a while. Since antibiotics typically don’t work for cold and flu viruses, it’s all about staying as healthy as possible, boosting the immune system, and finding symptom relief. So how do we do it?

1. Get a flu shot

Year after year the flu vaccine has been proven to be the most effective way to prevent the flu. Free flu shots are available to all CU Boulder students at specific walk-in hours on campus beginning Oct. 3 (just bring your Buff OneCard).

  • Wardenburg Health Center:
    • Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Rec Center Wellness Suite/Fitwell Office:
    • Mondays, 1 to 3 p.m.
    • Tuesdays, 5 to 7 p.m.
    • Wednesdays, 1 to 3 p.m.

2. Protect yourself from germs

Wash your hands often—in the bathroom, before eating, after class, there’s no bad time! If warm water and soap aren’t available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good alternative.

3. Keep the immune system high-functioning

Our immune systems are impacted by everything we do, from what we eat to our stress levels, so eating regular balanced meals, hydrating with lots of water, and sleeping 7-9 hours a night all help strengthen our bodies. When we’re well-rested, well-resourced and well-nourished, we’re more capable of fighting off an infection.

4. Practice good health habits

Wipe down communal surfaces like doorknobs and counters with disinfectant to kill any germs that may be around, cough and sneeze into your elbow or sleeve (but not hands, since hands touch everything), and stay home when you’re not feeling well. When we look out for each other, we all stay healthier in the long run.

If you do find yourself not feeling well, try these tips: drink warm liquids like tea to soothe a sore throat, get extra rest to let your body recover, and use over-the-counter remedies as appropriate to find relief. Your body works hard to fight off these viruses and get you back into peak condition, so be kind to it!

In fact, treat it to some cold care supplies on us: cough drops, tissues, tea, honey sticks, gargling salt, and hand sanitizer are all available free to CU Boulder students in the Health Promotion Resource Center located in UMC 411. 

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