The treatment for influenza for healthy people is mostly “supportive,” meaning rest, plenty of fluids, and fever-reducing medication as needed. Antiviral medications may be helpful, especially for students, faculty, and staff who have chronic medical problems (e.g., asthma or diabetes) and can be discussed with your primary care provider. Antiviral medications are most effective if started within 48 hours of developing flu symptoms.
- If you are sick, stay home and in bed and rest. Avoid crowded places like dining halls, classrooms, restaurants, and the RAC or other fitness centers to prevent spreading illness to others
- Take fever-reducing medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Aleve) if you do have a fever (temperature over 100°F). Please check your temperature using a working thermometer. If your fever persists for more than 48 hours in spite of taking these medications, please seek medical care (UHS hours Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., (410) 455-2542).
- Drink lots of fluids.
- If you have been diagnosed with the flu and develop shortness of breath or severe fatigue, call your healthcare provider or go to an emergency room.
Information for People with Underlying Health Conditions or Who Take Medicines that Suppress Their Immune System
As we all come together to begin the semester, please remember to take the following steps to prevent the spread of cold and flu as well as to reduce the risk of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus:
- Wash your hands frequently and/or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizing stations are located around campus.
- Avoid contact with those who are ill, if possible.
- Clean high-touch surfaces in your room and/or office with antibacterial cleaner (bleach wipes are very good).
- Cough into your sleeve or a tissue, not directly into your hands, and wash your hands immediately.
- Avoid touching your face both when you are ill and when healthy. This spreads germs!
- Avoid sharing food, utensils, cups, and water bottles.
- It may still be helpful to get a flu shot. UHS provided more than 700 flu shots this season and while we do not have any more shots, vaccines may be available at local pharmacies or from your primary care doctor.
Bruce Herman, Ph.D.
Director, University Health Services and Counseling Center