Feeling Sick?

If you're feeling sick, you may wonder what you should do. Well, it depends on the symptoms. See our self-care guide (PDF) and corresponding upper-respiratory handout (PDF) for more information, or visit Caring for the Common Cold online.

Sneezing, runny nose

  • OTC (over the counter at local pharmacies or the university bookstore) allergy medications

Nasal Congestion, stuffiness

  • OTC decongestants

Sore throat

  • Mild with nasal congestion – OTC decongestants
  • Severe – only symptom – call RUSH x 5111
  • Persistent, dry, itchy throat with dry cough – call RUSH x 511

Nausea, vomiting

  • Less than 24 hours onset
  • Clear liquids (ginger ale, sprite, Gatorade, apple juice, jello etc.)
  • NO solid foods – may add toast, crackers after 24 hours and increase diet as tolerated
  • MEDICATIONS: OTC original Dramamine (drowsy formula) or less drowsy Dramamine
  • Longer than 24 hours duration
  • If clear liquids only and continue with symptoms, call RUSH x 5111


  • Cover your mouth with tissue or upper arm – Wash hands thoroughly
  • With Fever – See fever information below section
  • Without Fever
    • First few days – OTC cough suppressants and/or decongestants
    • Persistent, dry, spasmodic cough – call RUSH x 5111 for appointment

Fever, aches and cough: Flu – like symptoms

  • Treatment may be of benefit for high risk students with chronic conditions, including asthma, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, pregnancy or medication therapy that causes immunosuppression. Call RUSH x 5111
  • Antiviral medications are of limited benefit to students who are not high risk
  • Self isolation is recommended until 24 hours after the fever resolves without the use of fever reducing medications.
  • Have someone bring you needed food/ supplies. Do not go to class/ work. If you must seek medical care, wear a face mask. These may be obtained from Resident Assistants or local pharmacies.
  • Medications:
    • Tylenol – headache, fever
    • Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin – body aches, fever
    • Cough suppressants
    • Decongestants for nasal stuffiness
    • Check out our Stomach Flu: The Basics guide for more information.

EMERGENCY WARNING SIGNS: Seek immediate medical attention or call 911

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Return of fever or cough after flu symptoms had resolved
  • Not sure what to do? Visit CDC online for information or call Student Health Services at 540-831-5111 for concerns

After hours? Call the nurse hotline at 1-866-205-2164

Virginia Department of Health hotline: 1-877-275-8343 (1-877-ASKVDH3)

Sep 13, 2012
Student Health Services at Radford University