Information for Students

What are the symptoms of the flu versus the symptoms of a cold?

FeverNormalUnusual; high (100ºF - 102ºF)
HeadacheNot usuallyUsual and expected
General Aches, PainsMildUsual, often severe
Fatigue, WeaknessSometimesUsual; up to 2-3 weeks
Extreme ExhaustionNeverUsual; at beginning
Stuffy NoseMost common symptomSometimes
Sore ThroatMild to moderateSometimes
Chest Discomfort, CoughMild-Moderate cough usually non productiveCommon, can be severe
TreatmentAntihistamines, Decongestant Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medsAntiviral medicines - See your doctor
PreventionWash hands often, Avoid close contact - anyone with a coldAnnual vaccination, antiviral medicines - See your doctor
ComplicationsSinus congestion, Middle ear infection, AsthmaBronchitis, Pneumonia, Can be life threatening

How to Avoid It and Stay Healthy

All students who present with flu-like symptoms at BU Student Health Services are tested for influenza.

The main way that all influenza viruses spread is from person to person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes, and when a person touches respiratory droplets on another person or an object and then touches their mouth or nose before washing their hands. BU Student Health Services advises students, faculty and staff to take the precautions outlined below to help themselves and others stay healthy.

What Can You Do?

  • Prevention: To reduce your chance of getting ill, always wash your hands before you eat and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. You can wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. If you recognize that others are sick, limit your exposure to them when possible.
  • Symptoms: If you become ill with flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, runny nose, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, contact your health care provider, who will determine whether flu testing or treatment is needed.
  • If you are ill: Stay home, until you have been without a fever of 100.5 or higher without the use of any fever reducers such as aspirin, Acetaminophen or Advil for 24 hours. Even after the fever subsides practice good habits and avoid contact with other people through social distancing. Avoid social gatherings as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others. When coughing or sneezing, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue and then throw the tissue away. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • High-risk groups: People at high risk for seasonal flu include those with the following conditions: Chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, hematological (including sickle cell disease), neurologic, neuromuscular, or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus). Pregnant women also are at high risk for complications. Anyone in those high-risk groups should contact their health care provider if they exhibit flu-like symptoms.

Please contact your professor’s and work-study supervisors via email upon onset of symptoms via email. Students can contact Health Services at 305 899-3750 to set up an appointment or if they have questions. Notices of communicable diseases will only be provided to students seen in the SHC for treatment. They also can visit the Health Services Web site,

For more information on the seasonal flu, visit the Florida Department of Health Web site at, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at or the World Health Organization Web site at

BU Student Health Services will continue to post updates at