Cold & Flu Self-Care | University of Portland

Cold & Flu Self-Care

During the fall and winter seasons, the UP community sees a large increase of cold and flu-like symptoms. Below are links to the CDC website and basic symptoms/treatments to help you decide if an appointment at the Health Center is necessary.

To make an appointment or to speak to a provider at the Health Center regarding your health concerns, please call 503.943.7134.

Cold & Flu Self-Care Remedies

Note: People with COVID-19 may experience cold and/or flu-like symptoms, regardless of vaccination status. If you have recently been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, please begin wearing a mask around others immediately and contact your primary care provider or the Health Center at 503.943.7134.


Cold symptoms can typically last 7-14 days, including:

  • Sore Throat
  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Headaches
  • Body Aches

Colds typically cure themselves. It is important to get extra rest and drink lots of fluids. Antibiotics will not help you recover from a cold; they do not work against viruses, and they may make it harder for your body to fight future bacterial infections if you take them unnecessarily. 

Please make an appointment with the Health Center or your primary care provider if you have:

  • a temperature higher than 100.4° F for more than 24 hours
  • symptoms that last more than 14 days


The Health Center is a firm believer that the best flu treatment is prevention. The flu vaccine is available at the Health Center, or at any local pharmacies where your insurance is accepted. To make an appointment to get the flu vaccine at the Health Center, call us at 503.943.7134, or watch your UP email for announcements about our next on-campus flu vaccine clinic.

Flu symptoms can typically last 10-14 days, including:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore Throat
  • Runny or Stuffy Nose
  • Body Aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need to seek medical care from a nurse or nurse practitioner. If you are sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings. Get lots of rest, drink lots of fluids, and avoid contact with other people. The CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours (except to get medical care or other necessities) after your fever is gone. Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol®. 

Please make an emergency health appointment if you have:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Stiff neck