Tips to avoid illness

Despite the warm weather Boulder has had this week, winter is not yet over.

Germs will continue to spread across campus before spring officially starts. Between missing class and making up assignments, getting sick is no way to start off a semester. Use these tips from Wardenburg Health Center and CU students to keep healthy and productive this semester.

Get the flu vaccine

Patient Choum Sengdara receives a flu vaccination from Doctor, Barbra. Wardenburg Health Center In Boulder, CO. (Gary Sheer/CU Independent)

If you haven’t gotten the flu vaccine yet, now is the time. It takes about two weeks to fully kick in, so to get the full benefit, get your vaccine as soon as possible. Wardenburg has walk-in hours Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Vaccines are free for students with university health insurance, and $20 for staff, faculty and students without university health insurance.

Wash your hands
The best defense against a cold or influenza is to keep your hands clean. Nearly 29,000 students, not to mention faculty and staff, trek around campus every day. It’s hard to know how many of them are sick and what surfaces they touched.

“Whenever hand sanitizer is accessible, when I’m in the gym and get in contact with people, I wash my hands,” Duncan Palmer, 20-year-old junior molecular biology major, said.

There are 98 hand sanitizing stations in 21 buildings on campus. Between these and the bathroom sinks in every building, there is no reason your hands need to be covered in germs.

Don’t touch your face
Unless you just washed your hands, there’s no way to know what’s on them. Touching your nose, eyes or mouth moves bacteria from germ-covered surfaces like desks and door handles straight into your system. Once bacteria are in, you’ll have to rely on your immune system to get them out.

Keep your distance from sick people
Wardenburg nurses recommend keeping a three-foot distance from someone that you know is sick. Even if they don’t look sick, it is best not to share your space, drinks, utensils or saliva with anyone.

“Don’t make out with randos at the bar,” Alex Seguin, 21-year-old senior media studies major, said.

Get sleep
As difficult as it is for hard-working students to balance sleep, a social life and school, sleep should be a priority. Sleep deprivation wears down the immune system, which increases your chances of getting sick. The next time you’re thinking about pulling an all-nighter playing video games, catching up on your favorite TV show or even doing a school project, consider spacing that work or play out so you can take a nap.

Stay hydrated
Drinking lots of water will help you stay healthy. If you are coming down with a cold or the flu, keeping hydrated will help alleviate symptoms, which in turn can get rid of your illness faster.

Eat healthy
Having a healthy body means you have to put healthy things into it. Eat vitamin-rich foods and beverages, especially fruits and vegetables.

“I say, take your vitamins,” Jade Gutierrez, 18-year-old freshman studio art and art history major, said. “Vitamin C and Vitamin A support your immune system.”

Contact CU Independent News Budget Editor Avalon Jacka at

Avalon Jacka

Avalon Jacka is a senior at the University of Colorado, studying News-editorial journalism and Russian studies. She loves music and hopes to incorporate it into her career someday. When she isn't doing homework, Jacka spends her time singing with the radio, analyzing television far too in-depth and hanging out with her friends. She has also been known to play Mortal Kombat on the PS2 and win. It is one of her greatest accomplishments to date. Contact CU Independent Entertainment Editor Avalon Jacka at

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