Guidelines for Sick Patients
We are encouraging Brown students who are ill with influenza-like illness (ILI) to report their missed class time and needs for assistance on the FLU WEB. Log into this website and answer some questions which will enable us to know that you are ill with influenza-like symptoms, that you are being cared for, and what needs you have. The information you give will also allow us to confirm for faculty missed class time due to influenza illness. Please note no medical information reported to Health Services is accessible from this reporting website.
You will receive a follow-up phone call from a staff member in Campus Life or the Dean of the College office, so please be sure to provide a phone number where we can reach you. If you get significantly worse before you receive a return phone call, please call Health Services at 863-1330.
How do I treat my symptoms?
Fever: Fever is the most common symptom of the flu. To treat your fever, keep your room as cool as possible, wear light weight clothing, drink plenty of fluids, such as water, diluted fruit juices or Powerade, and take acetaminophen or ibuprofen per label instructions. Do not take aspirin.
Cough: a dry cough is a cough that does not bring up much mucous. Drink lots of clear liquids, avoid alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes. Rest, soothe your throat with salt water gargles (1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 ounces of warm water) or cough lozenges.
Body aches/ headaches: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen will also help relieve body aches and/or headaches. Follow label instructions.
Avoid dehydration: To prevent this, drink plenty of fluids. Suggestions include water, broth, diluted fruit juices or Powerade, vegetable juices, decaffeinated tea, hot water with honey and lemon, Jello or popsicles.
What else can I do when I'm sick?
Limit contact with others by:
- If you have family or friends (non-Brown students) off campus and are able to go there to recover, we urge you to do so.
- Keep away from others as much as possible; the further the better but greater than 6 feet is best and stay in your room until you have no fever for 24 hours (without fever reducing medication).
- Cover your cough and clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer often and especially after coughing or sneezing.
- If possible, remain in a room separate from the common areas of your home/suite/residence hall (i.e., spare bedroom with its own bathroom).
- Keep the door to your room closed. If not possible, (i.e., shared bedroom) arrange beds as far apart as possible and stay on opposite side of room when your roommate is present.
- Use a separate bathroom, if possible. If not possible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands before and after use of the bathroom.
- Wear a mask when you are in a common bathroom except for bathing and brushing teeth and when others are in your room.
- Shower separate from others.
- Ask those in your household/suite/room to wash their hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Unless necessary for medical care, do not leave your home until you do not have a fever for 24 hours (without fever reducing medication). You are most likely to spread the infection during this time.
- If you need to leave your bedroom/home, (i.e., for medical care), cover your mouth and nose when coughing and if possible wear a mask.
- Protect others by having no (or very limited) visitors, practice good hygiene and cough etiquette, use separate towels and eating utensils
- Asking others to also follow these guidelines.
- Masks are available with RPL’s in each unit and at Health Services.
- Please ask your roommates to read the information included here on living with a sick person.
When should I get additional care?
Call EMS (Emergency Medical Services) @ 401-863-4111 if you have (or your roommate/friend has):
- Pain in your chest;
- Difficulty breathing;
- Confusion or decreased awareness
- Severe headache;
- Stiff neck.
Call Health Services @ 401-863-1330 TODAY if you have:
- Were feeling better for 24 hours but now feel ill again (especially if you currently have fever or cough);
- Have bloody or rust-colored mucous;
- Have severe sore throat;
- Are unable to keep fluids down (i.e., you are vomiting back up anything you drink);
- Have any other condition that concerns you;
- Have a chronic medical condition, or are pregnant or nursing, and have not already talked with a Health Services provider. (Chronic medical conditions include significant asthma or other respiratory illness, significant chronic cardiovascular, liver, blood, neurologic disease or diabetes, HIV, or taking immunosuppressive drugs).