Seasonal influenza and the common cold are common illnesses that can have
serious implications for a person’s health as well as their ability to carry out work
and study. Many university students are among the age groups (18–24) reporting
high numbers of notifications of influenza (laboratory confirmed) in Australia
(Department of Health and Ageing 2011). Universities host a large number of
students and staff daily who use shared facilities and spend time indoors together.
As such, it is expected that transmission risks in universities are similar to those in
closed communities (such as healthcare settings and schools). This presents a
serious public health issue for universities. In 2011, the University of Wollongong
(UOW) funded the Centre for Health Initiatives (CHI) to implement the UOW
Cold and Flu Campaign; a campus- based social marketing intervention, to reduce
the spread of cold and flu among the UOW population.