Cold & Flu

If you have any of the following, call the Student Health Center at 573-882-7481 for an appointment:

  • Fever over 101 degrees or remains over 100 degrees for two days
  • Productive cough
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Chest pain
  • Other severe symptoms

Annual flu shots are available at the Student Health Center beginning in September. Your student health fee covers the cost of the annual flu shot. Watch for our on-campus flu clinics or if you’re already at your appointment, ask your provider or nurse about getting the shot while you’re here.

Call us at 573-882-7481.

You’re tired, have a stuffy nose and a sore throat. Use this guide to figure out if it’s a cold, the flu or something else.

Symptoms Onset

COVID-19 Symptoms range from mild to severe Influenza Cold Seasonal Allergies
Gradual Abrupt Gradual Varies


Symptom COVID-19 Symptoms range from mild to severe Influenza Cold Seasonal Allergies
Sources: World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
Fever Common Common None or low grade Varies
Fatigue Common Common Sometimes Sometimes
Cough Common (usually dry) Common (usually dry) Mild to moderate Sometimes
Sneezing No No Common Sometimes
Aches and pains Sometimes Common Slight No
Runny or stuffy nose Rare Sometimes Common Common
Sore throat Sometimes Sometimes Common Possible, esp. upon waking
Diarrhea Sometimes Sometimes No No
Headaches Sometimes Common Uncommon, mild Sometimes
Shortness of breath Common Sometimes Mild Sometimes, esp. in asthma patients
Chills Sometimes, incl. repeating shaking Fairly common Uncommon Rare
Loss of appetite Sometimes Common Sometimes Rare
New loss of taste or smell Sometimes Sometimes Sometimes Sometimes
Itchy nose, eyes or roof of mouth No No No Common
Watery eyes No Uncommon Common Common

For fever, sore throat and body aches

  • Take acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) but do not exceed 3,000 mg per day
  • Alternate with ibuprofen (such as Advil)
  • Take them around the clock, at the frequency indicated on the product directions — not just when symptoms reoccur

For cough

  • Use a cough syrup with the suppressant dextromethorphan (DM), which is usually combined with guaifenesin (a mucus thinner) (such as Tussin DM)
  • Take it at the frequency indicated on the product directions — not only when your cough worsens

Increase fluid intake

  • Fluids are important while you have a fever
  • Consume fruit juices, sports drinks, soup and water
  • Do not use sugar-free drinks for rehydration

Call Student Health

Call the Student Health Center for an appointment at 573-882-7481 if:

  • Fever remains over 100 degrees for two days
  • Cough becomes productive
  • Breathing becomes difficult
  • You experience chest pain
  • Or other new severe symptoms

Stay home

Stay home from class and work to limit contact with others. Limiting contact with others will keep them from infecting others.

Practice prevention

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (or turn your head into your sleeve)
  • Put your used tissue in a waste basket
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, after you sneeze or cough
  • Carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use when soap and water are not easily accessible
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth because germs are spread this way
  • Do not share items such as drinks, food, cell phones, etc.

Avoid close contact with sick people

Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people. Sometimes others may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

Symptoms of influenza

The most common symptoms are fever with respiratory symptoms including cough, sore throat and body aches. Headaches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea may also occur.