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Stay healthy and safe during respiratory-virus season

More information about coronavirus and flu symptoms, treatment and prevention.

By Steve Monaco and Jeffrey Uszacki

February 3, 2020

Students standing outside of Health Center by sign.What is novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

2019-nCoV is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Since then, the virus has been identified in multiple other countries, including cases in the U.S. No cases have been confirmed in Colorado to date, and the risk of contracting this virus in Colorado is low.

If members of the campus community have traveled from China in the past two weeks and are exhibiting the signs and symptoms below, please call the Health Center at Auraria at 303-615-9999. If after hours, please call the Denver Health Medical Center nurse line at 303-739-1211.


Symptoms of coronavirus may be flulike, ranging from mild to serious, and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing


People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive medical care to help relieve their symptoms. The majority of people can be treated symptomatically with fluids, rest and over-the-counter medications.


There is no vaccine to prevent coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to the virus and practice good hygiene.

Please visit the CDC website for the most current information.


Flu is on the rise in Colorado and has similar symptoms to the coronavirus. Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death.

The best way to prevent or reduce the severity of flu symptoms is by getting a flu vaccine each year. The Health Center at Auraria no longer has vaccine available for this year; however, vaccine is available at many local pharmacies.

For the most current flu information, please visit the CDC website.

Everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you develop flulike illness (fever, sore throat, cough, body aches) and seek medical help if needed.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The Health Center at Auraria will closely monitor the coronavirus and influenza situation in Colorado and provide additional updates as needed. 

Topics: Community, Health, Health Center at Auraria, Safety, Tri-institutional

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