302-831-2226 studenthealth@udel.edu

Respiratory Viruses

COVID-19

Influenza

Other respiratory viruses, including RSV

Cause

SARS-CoV-2 virus Influenza A or Influenza B virus Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Parainfluenza, Adenovirus, Rhinovirus, Enterovirus.

Symptoms (*most common symptoms)

  • Fever (occasionally)
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste/smell
  • Congestion*
  • Sinus pressure
  • Ear pressure
  • Sore throat*
  • Cough*
  • Fatigue*
  • Vomiting/diarrhea 
  • Fever* (often 102–104 F)
  • Significant chills*
  • Significant body aches*
  • Headache*
  • Congestion
  • Sinus pressure
  • Ear pressure
  • Sore throat
  • Cough (dry)*
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting/diarrhea (more common in children)
  • Mild fever (under 102 F)
  • Mild chills
  • Congestion*
  • Sinus pressure*
  • Ear pressure*
  • Hoarse voice
  • Sore throat*
  • Cough (productive)*
  • Fatigue / low energy

Treatment

Over-the-counter medications (available at SHS Dispensary):

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin)
  • Guaifenesin for cough
  • Phenylephrine or Nasal saline spray for congestion 

Over-the-counter medications (available at SHS Dispensary):

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin)
  • Guaifenesin for cough
  • Phenylephrine or Nasal saline spray for congestion 

Over-the-counter medications (available at SHS Dispensary):

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin)
  • Guaifenesin for cough
  • Phenylephrine or Nasal saline spray for congestion 

Antivirals

Prescription antivirals like Paxlovid for patients at risk of complications Prescription antivirals like Oseltamivir for patients at risk of complications No antivirals available for these conditions

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are not effective for viral illnesses Antibiotics are not effective for viral illnesses Antibiotics are not effective for viral illnesses

Typical Duration

5–10 days 5–7 days 7–10 days

Testing

  • Rapid antigen testing available with an appointment at Student Health
  • Not routinely available

Vaccination

  • Primary COVID-19 vaccine recommended for everyone age 6 months and older
  • COVID-19 bivalent booster recommended for everyone age 12+
  • Available at SHS (Call 302-831-2226, Option 1 to schedule)
  • Recommended every fall for everyone age six months and older
  • Available at SHS (Call 302-831-2226, Option 1 to schedule, or register online
  • Not routinely available

At risk for complications

  • Immunocompromised conditions
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Cancer
  • Pregnant
  • Elderly
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Other respiratory diseases
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Pregnant
  • Infants and small children
  • Elderly
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Other respiratory diseases
  • Infants and small children
  • Elderly

What should I do at home?

  • Treat symptoms with over-the-counter medications as above
  • Rest
  • Fluids
  • Wear a mask while symptomatic
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Disinfect living space
  • Treat symptoms with over-the-counter medications as above
  • Rest
  • Fluids
  • Wear a mask while symptomatic
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Disinfect living space

When to seek medical care (SHS or Urgent Care)

  • Fever over 102
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Leg swelling
  • Confusion
  • Significant symptoms 
  • Symptoms that are worsening or not significantly improved in 5–10 days
  • Fever over 102
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Significant symptoms (severe pain with swallowing, severe cough, etc)
  • Symptoms that are worsening or not significantly improved in 3–5 days
  • Fever over 102
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Significant symptoms (severe pain with swallowing, severe cough, etc)
  • Symptoms that are worsening or not significantly improved in 7–10 days