What To Do if You Feel Sick

Viral illnesses are common and can range from a mild cold to a miserable case of flu. Most respiratory viral illnesses can be managed at home without a medical appointment following these basic guidelines:

  • If you have symptoms, it's a good idea to test for COVID-19. You can test at home with a rapid antigen test (available for free at the LCC Student Health Clinic) or can make an appointment with a provider.
  • Other tests that are available at the LCC Student Health Clinic include rapid flu testing and rapid strep testing. Also available is a more accurate type of rapid COVID-19 testing (Abbott ID NOW).

Take care of your body as your immune system clears the infection and your body heals:

  • Get plenty of rest. Allow yourself to sleep when you are tired and get 8-10 hours of sleep a night.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Drink water, electrolyte drinks, broth, and soups throughout the day. Try cold or hot drinks if you have a sore throat or even popsicles.
  • Eat healthy foods. Choose nutritious foods that appeal to you and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Avoid smoking and vaping. Smoking and vaping can irritate the respiratory system and delay healing. 

To soothe symptoms, you can try these things: 

(If you use any over-the-counter-medications, thoroughly read the information on the package before taking, paying particular attention to the warnings and directions)

  • Antibiotics will not help treat viral illnesses.
  • Pain and fever:
    • Ibuprofen will help reduce pain and fevers. Dose: 400 mg every 4-6 hours with food. Do not take more than 2,400 mg of ibuprofen in 24 hours. 
    • Acetaminophen will help reduce pain and fevers. Dose: 500–1,000 mg every 4-6 hours. Do not take more than 3,000 mg of acetaminophen in 24 hours.
  • Cough:
    • Use honey to soothe a sore throat or a cough. Take 2 teaspoons of honey a few times a day and before bed. It works!
    • If the air in your home/room is dry, using a cool mist vaporizer or humidifier can help, especially at night. (Make sure you keep it clean per the manufacturer's directions)
    • Cough medicines are  minimally effective and are not generally recommended.
  • Sore throat:
    • Pain medication such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen
    • Sip warm (tea or broth) drinks, eat cold desserts such as popsicles or ice cream, suck on ice chips
    • Suck on cough drops or hard candy
    • Gargle with salt water (dissolve ¼-½ teaspoon table salt in 4-8 oz warm water)
  • Runny nose and nasal congestion:
    • Saline nasal sprays
    • Nasal irrigation, for example with a neti pot. Read more about how to safely use nasal irrigation.
    • Ipratropium bromide nasal spray (prescription-only) to reduce runny nose 
    • Oral decongestant (such as pseudoephedrine) to reduce nasal congestion
    • Decongestant nasal spray (such as Afrin or Neo-Synephrine) to reduce nasal congestion. Never use for more than 2 to 3 days, otherwise when you stop you can get rebound congestion.
    • Pheynylephrine is not recommended.
    • If you are considering using decongestant medications and have any questions or are unfamiliar with how to use them safely, please make an appointment with a healthcare provider.
    • Remember to follow the directions on the decongestant medication packaging and read the warnings before using.

When to call your healthcare provider

Although most viral illnesses are mild and get better on their own, it is good to know when to seek medical attention.

Make an appointment with a healthcare provider:

  • If you test positive for COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19 and are a candidate for treatment with medication, make an appointment with a healthcare provider. 
  • If you think you might have strep throat it is a good idea to see a healthcare provider where you may receive a test for strep throat or other infections. 
  • If you have been sick for a week or more and are getting worse. 

Call 911 or go to the Emergency Department if you have:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe abdominal (belly) pain
  • Severe headache with neck stiffness
  • Inability to swallow or drooling with sore throat
  • Turning blue
  • Confusion


Contact the Health Clinic

health clinic location in building 18

The Health Clinic is located on Lane's Main campus, Building 18, Room 101.

Lane Community College
Health Clinic
4000 East 30th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97405

Building 18, Room 101
Monday-Wednesday 8:30-4:30
Thursday 10-4:30
Fridays 8:30-2 (no appointments available on Fridays)
LCC is closed on Fridays during the summer.

If you have an emergency when the clinic is closed, call Campus Public Safety (541) 463-5555 or dial 911.
If you are having a mental health emergency call or text 988

The LCC Health Clinic does not provide after-hours medical care. If you need a prescription refill, contact your pharmacy.