Students racing at CRC devocation event

Staying Healthy

Physical Health

Leading a healthy lifestyle can help you resist minor illness, promote your productivity and boost your academic success. The first step involves understanding your dietary and nutritional needs and including exercise in your daily routine. To assist you in your pursuit of a well-balanced lifestyle, University of Wisconsin-Madison offers fitness programs, nutrition support and counseling. If a more careful attention is needed, University Health Services also provides support around topics ranging from a general cold or minor injury to emergency health services and substance abuse.

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Emotional and Mental Wellness

We understand that mental, intellectual and emotional health is crucial for a balanced college experience. The UW-Madison offers a variety of group and individual counseling sessions, positive psychology programs, stress and sleep management programs and more to ensure every student’s positive experience on campus.

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Sexual Health

You may find more specialized healthcare services on campus related to a number of medical related topics. UHS Sexual Health Clinic provides screening, diagnosis and treatment of most Sexually Transmitted Diseases. You may also find counseling on STI spread prevention, HIV infection, emergency contraception and sexual assault.

Visit University Health Services to schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional and find out more about health services on campus.

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Preventing and Managing Illness

Close living settings – like residence halls – can be places where viruses and bacteria spread easily from person-to-person. There are steps you can take to protect yourself and the people around you while reducing the spread of illness. Vaccination is an easy and often no-cost way for students to keep feeling healthy while protecting others. UHS offers vaccines for COVID-19, flu, MPV (for those eligible), meningitis B, and many others. Schedule a vaccine appointment and check out the tips below.

Keep your stuff clean

  1. Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer frequently. Especially after using the bathroom, before and after eating or preparing food for yourself or someone else, and when you are feeling sick.
  2. Wipe down high-contact surfaces regularly. Use cleaning wipes or sprays like Clorox or Lysol to wipe down doorknobs, light switches, refrigerator handles, and shared counter space.
  3. Wash or replace your bedding if you’ve been sick or had a new sexual encounter. Bodily fluids can spread illness, so it’s important to keep your sheets clean.

Avoid sharing personal items

  1. Keep your drinks to yourself and avoid taking sips from other people’s cups. Illness can spread easily through saliva.
  2. Wash your plates, silverware, and cups after use. Keep these items clean and for personal use may help prevent illnesses through saliva.
  3. Keep your toothbrush, makeup, and other personal hygiene items to yourself. Illness can spread through contact with items used by someone who is sick.
  4. Avoid kissing, cuddling, or having sex with people who are sick. Activities that include a lot of close contact can promote the spread of illness.
    1. If you choose to engage in sexual activities, do so more safely by limiting your number of sex partners, using condoms (which may offer some protection for contact with MPV rashes), or by having virtual sex without in-person contact. More tips are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Safer Sex, Social Gatherings, and Monkeypox website.

For information about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) visit the UHS STI webpage.

Take steps if you feel sick

If you’re not feeling well, stay home and seek medical care through UHS (most services are no-cost to students). Please note that some of the illnesses listed below – including COVID-19, monkeypox (MPV), influenza-like illness (ILI), and meningitis B – must be reported to public health officials to prevent the spread of disease. Some illnesses may also require an isolation period. If this is the case, you will be provided with specific instructions for isolation.

Experiencing a cough, sore throat or stuffy nose?

You might have a respiratory virus – like COVID-19, the flu, or another common cold virus. These viruses can spread easily through the air, so if you feel ill it’s important to avoid contact with others, stay home, and rest while you recover. If you suspect you have a respiratory virus, follow these next steps:

  1. Wear a mask around others to prevent the spread of illness.
  2. Seek testing or utilize an at-home test. Some viral tests will require a visit to a health care provider. You can schedule an appointment through UHS in primary care.
    1. Take a COVID-19 test (rapid and PCR are available at no-cost on campus).
      1. If the test result is positive, follow next steps after testing positive.
      2. If the test is negative, follow next steps after testing negative.

Experiencing a new rash that looks like blisters, pimples, or lesions?

You might have monkeypox (MPV). MPV spreads through direct skin-to-skin contact with rashes or bodily secretions, as well as prolonged face-to-face contact and touching fabrics or objects used by a person with MPV that have not been cleaned. If you suspect you have MPV, follow these next steps:

  1. Request an appointment through UHS for MPV testing.
  2. While waiting for test results, stay home and isolate yourself from others. Follow guidance from your health care provider.
  3. If the test result is positive, follow guidance from your health care provider.

Experiencing extreme fatigue?

You might have mononucleosis (mono). Mono spreads through bodily fluids – especially saliva. If you suspect you may have mono, follow these next steps:

  1. Schedule an appointment through UHS in primary care.
  2. If your health provider believes you have mono, follow their guidance for rest and recovery.

Experiencing a high fever, stiff neck, confusion, and/or light sensitivity?

You might have meningitis B. Meningitis B bacteria spreads through bodily fluids – especially saliva. If you suspect you may have meningitis B, act quicky and follow these next steps:

  1. Immediately schedule an appointment through UHS in primary care.
  2. If you test positive for meningitis B, follow guidance from your health care provider.

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