University Health Services

Cold and Flu

 

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS COLD FLU TREATMENT
Fever, chills Low fever, chills rare Fever may be high. Chills are normal. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Advil) every 6 hr
Headache Rare Usual, described often as “behind the eyes” Same as above.
General aches and pains Mild or absent Usual, may be severe, affects the entire body Same as above, extra rest
Fatigue, weakness Mild or absent Usual, may be severe. Extra rest. Vitamin C 1000mg per day may be helpful.
Runny, stuffy nose Common Occasionally Sinus decongestant
Sneezing Usual Occasionally

Sinus decongestant/
Antihistamine 

Sore throat Common Sometimes Ice cold liquids every hour to decrease inflammation. Gargling with warm salt water may also help. Pain relievers such as Ibuprofen are also helpful.
Cough Mild to moderate; hacking cough Common; may be severe Robitussin DM or its equivalent. (Check labels closely to avoid combination drugs. Cough syrups often contain pain medicine or decongestants). A cool air humidifier. Inhaling the steam during a shower. Avoid cigarette smoke.

Note: 
Extra rest and fluids are very important to aid in the recovery of both colds and flu. Be sure to get as much rest as possible and a minimum of 64 ounces (approx 2 liters) of non-caffeinated fluids daily.

Antibiotic Use:
Antibiotics are not helpful in treating colds and influenza. These are caused by viruses and antibiotics only kill bacteria. Therefore, treatment is aimed at symptom relief when you are suffering from a cold or flu.

When to seek

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