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5 ways to avoid the Athens plague

It seems to happen every year, a symphony of sniffles during every lecture and professors teaching to an audience of half-empty seats. A sickness moves through campus right alongside unsuspecting students.

At Ohio University, this sickness is better known as the Athens Plague. Here are five ways to avoid getting sick during the fall semester: 

Stay hydrated

Your emotional support water bottle may be more useful than you think. Being properly hydrated increases energy and improves brain functions while also defending your body against bacteria. If you don’t have a reusable water bottle, try to have a glass of water with every meal. Even when it seems impossible, refill the Brita, you’ll thank yourself later. 

Take your vitamins

The days are getting shorter, the sun is disappearing and with a strict diet of frozen meals and dining halls, OU students are seriously lacking in vitamins. A quick and easy way to make sure you’re getting that extra Vitamin C & D is to grab an orange from the dining hall or hang out in a hammock at Emeriti Park. 

Wash your hands

On a college campus of almost 30,000 students, everything you touch has probably been touched by someone else. Washing your hands frequently is not only a common courtesy to those around you, but will also help you avoid any rogue germs. Carry around a small thing of hand sanitizer if you’re feeling particularly germy. 

Prioritize sleep

As college students, sleep is low on our lengthy to-do lists. Luckily, getting a full eight hours will strengthen your immune system's defense against sickness. Catching up on hours might just mean taking a cat nap in your dorm between classes, but those quick z’s might just be what stands between you and the Athens Plague. 


If it means taking the long way to classes or avoiding the Baker University Center escalator, exercise will gear up your body to fight against illness. Even if you aren’t a gym rat, there are many ways to get exercise around Athens. Try taking a walk around the bike path with friends or hiking up to The Ridges for an afternoon picnic. 


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