Student Health FAQ

  • How can I prepare for flu season right now?
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. When a tissue is not available, cover coughs or sneezes using your elbow or your shoulder instead of your hands.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
    • Frequently clean your living quarters. If you live together with other students, you should frequently clean commonly-used surfaces such as doorknobs, refrigerator handles, remote controls, computer keyboards, counter tops, faucet handles, and bathroom areas.
    • Plan to monitor your health by checking for fever and other symptoms of flu.
    • Talk with your health care provider if you are at higher risk for complications from flu.
    • Update emergency contact lists.

    We also recommended purchasing these items now,
    to care for yourself in the event that you become ill:

    Gatorade, Broth, Juice, Popsicles Crackers, Rice, Bread
    Inexpensive thermometer, Tissues, Germ Wipes, Face Mask
    Acetaminophen 325mg -- 25 tablets -- $5.00
    Ibuprofen 200mg -- 25 tablets -- $5.00
    Robitussin DM -- 1 bottle, or
    Generic Tussin DM -- 8 oz. bottle
    $8 - $9
    Mucinex DM regular -- box of 14, or
    Mucinex DM maximum -- box of 14
    $10 - $12
    Sudafed from pharmacist -- 30mg tablets -- $8.00

    For more information, visit:

    Contact CDC 24 Hours / Every Day:
  • What should I do if I have flu-like symptoms?
    Symptoms of flu include fever or chills AND cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, body aches, headaches, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting.
    A fever is a temperature (by thermometer) that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius. You may have a fever if you feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or you are sweating or shivering.

    If you feel any of these symptoms, you will need to take the following actions:
    • Plan to self-isolate (stay away from others) in your residence hall room or apartment for at least 24 hours after your fever has passed WITHOUT the use of fever-reducing medicine. Do not go to work or school or ride public transportation while ill. The only exception to this would be for medical care or other necessities.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue if you sneeze or cough. Immediately throw away used tissue, and immediately clean hands after each sneeze or cough.
    • Get plenty of rest. Drink clear fluids to keep from getting dehydrated.

    If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
    • Sudden dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Severe persistent vomiting
    • Flu-like symptoms improve then return with fever and worse cough
  • What should I do if my roommate is sick?
    If your roommate is ill with flu-like symptoms, you can still go about your daily business as usual. However, you need to monitor your health daily and take common sense precautions including washing hands often with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand cleaners. Limit contact with the sick roommate and try to maintain a distance of 6 feet from him/her. If close contact cannot be avoided, your sick roommate should wear a surgical mask (if tolerable) when he/she is around you and other people. Frequently clean commonly-touched surfaces.
  • Are students required to leave campus if they become ill?
    Columbia College Chicago does not require ill students to leave campus if they develop flu-like illnesses. However, many students may find it more comfortable to return home for that time period to continue their recovery. Whenever possible, students wishing to return home to recover should travel by private vehicle rather than public transportation.
  • What are recommended sanitizers and/or disinfectants?