Montana State University

Flu Information - If You Are Sick With Influenza

College Office


People at risk for complications of influenza include (CDC-2012):

  • Persons of any age with the following conditions:
    • Chronic lung (including asthma), heart, kidney, liver, blood disorders (including sickle cell disease), neurologic, neuromuscular, or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus)
    • Impaired immune system, including that caused by medications like prednisone, or by HIV
    • Pregnant women
  • Persons younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
  • Children younger than 5 years old, and particularly younger than 2 years old
  • Adults 65 years of age and older
  • Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities
  • American Indians/Alaska Natives
  • Persons who are morbidly obese (BMI ≥ 40)
If you become sick with the flu and belong to one of these groups, students should come to the Student Health Service (8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. M-F; 8 a.m.-11: 30 a.m. Sat) for further evaluation.


These symptoms could indicate a serious complication. Seek medical care as soon as possible if these occur:

  • Fever over 102F (39C) that does not come down below 100F (38C) with fever reducing medicine
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck unable to touch your chin to your chest
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Rash
  • Severe cough not helped by cough medicine
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Vomiting that prevents keeping down Gatorade, 7-Up, sweetened tea
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Students may come to the Student Health Service. If after hours, go to the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital Emergency Room (585-1000).


  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Drink at least 2 liters each day of liquids such as non-diet 7-UP, Sprite, Gatorade, ginger ale, broth, tea with sugar (yes, soda pop is OK with a cold or flu).
  • For runny nose and stuffy nose, try a decongestant like 12-Hour Sudafed (available without a prescription).
  • For cough, try a cough syrup like Delsym (available without a prescription).
  • To reduce fever, take ibuprofen (e.g. Motrin, Advil), naproxen (e.g. Aleve) or acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) as directed on the bottle. Avoid aspirin.
  • For vomiting, dont eat or drink anything until you have not vomited for 4 hours, then sip on liquids (see above avoid plain water as it can make vomiting worse) for 24 hours. If no further vomiting, begin eating mild foods like crackers, mashed potatoes, rice, applesauce for 24 hours. Then resume your regular diet.
  • If your symptoms get worse, seek medical care. Students may call (406-994-2311) or visit the Student Health Service (8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. M-F; 8 a.m.-11: 30 a.m. Sat). If after hours, go to the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital Emergency Room (585-1000).


  • Stay at home or in your dorm room, avoiding work, school, and social gatherings until the fever has been below 100F (38C) for 24 hours (without needing fever-reducing medicine to keep the temperature down).
  • Have meals delivered to you. Dont go to the cafeteria for meals!
  • Cover your cough. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or, if necessary, into your upper arm. Dispose of the tissue immediately.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If you are not near water, use an alcohol-based (60-95%) hand cleaner (such as Purell).
  • If you have to go out, wear a surgical mask or try to stay at least six feet from other people


If you are feeling worse, or if you feel you need to be seen by a doctor, nurse or other health professional,
Go to the MSU Student Health Service (M-F 8:00am-4:30pm; Sat 8:00-11:00am)
go to Bozeman Urgent Care (586-8711)
or Family Doctors Urgent Care (556-9740)
or the BDH Emergency Room (585-1000)