Cold & Influenza Season

As you may know, Canada is officially in an influenza (flu) epidemic after crossing its seasonal threshold of cases. This means that the number of flu cases is increasing and is above-expected levels that are typical for this time of year.

Did you know that there are over 200 viruses that can cause cold and flu symptoms? In an effort to protect ourselves, here’s what you should know about the cold and influenza season in Nova Scotia:

What is a cold? What is the flu?

A cold and the flu are viral infections that affect your respiratory system, including your throat, nose, airways and lungs. Common cold and flu symptoms include fatigue, cough, sneezing, runny nose, sore muscles and a fever. These symptoms can last roughly between 2-14 days. Most times, these symptoms can be managed at home with over the counter medications, plenty of fluids and rest. If symptoms become serious, please contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Serious symptoms in adults may include:

  • A high, prolonged fever above 38.9°C (102°F), with fatigue and body aches
  • Cough, sneezing, runny nose and sore muscles that last for more than 10 days or symptoms that worsen
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Fainting or feeling like you are going to faint
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Severe sinus pain in your face or forehead
  • Swollen glands in the neck or jaw
Be prepared for cold and flu season by making sure you have a digital thermometer, soup, ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylonel), cough medicine or honey, lots of fluids and masks.

How to prevent the spread of cold and flu

  • Get vaccinated! We strongly encourage you to get the flu vaccine so we can all do our part in preventing the spread of cold and flu on campus and in the community. You can book an appointment with your Nova Scotia health card. If you do not have a Nova Scotia health card, please book an appointment with the Nancy Dingwall Health and Counselling Centre, no health card required.
  • Stay home! It is crucial to stay home and rest. This is the best way to take care of yourself and to not spread the cold and flu to others. You can review tips on how to take care of yourself or a loved one with a respiratory illness.
  • Wear a mask! Wearing a mask is the best way to protect us all from the cold and flu. This is even more important if you are sick and cannot stay home. CBU has free disposable masks in the main cafeteria and at Cineplex. 
  • Wash your hands and practice good respiratory hygiene like coughing and sneezing into your arm/sleeve.
  • Protect higher risk people by not visiting them when you feel sick. If you must visit then, wear a mask and keep your distance.
  • Check out some more tips from Nova Scotia Health on protecting yourself and others.


COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics 

COVID-19 is still prevalent in our community and can present symptoms that look like cold and flu symptoms. COVID-19 take-home tests are available in the main CBU cafeteria and at Cineplex.

Not yet vaccinated? Nova Scotia Public Health offers a free COVID-19 vaccine clinic at their local office in Sydney, by appointment only. No health card or health insurance required. Nova Scotia Public Health will also provide free transportation should you need it.

Where: 795 Alexandra Street, 2nd Floor, Sydney, Nova Scotia
When: Monday to Friday from 9:00am-4:00pm

To book an appointment, please call 902-563-2400.
You can also book an appointment at a local pharmacy with your Nova Scotia health card.

Nancy Dingwall Health and Counselling Centre
Hours of Operation

Monday-Thursday from 8:30am-4:30pm
Friday 8:30am-12:00pm (noon)


Phone: 902-563-1359


Call or email to book an appointment. For those needing assistance after hours and on weekends, please call 811 to speak with a registered nurse.

In Case of Emergency

In the event of emergency, please go to the nearest Emergency Department

In Sydney, the Emergency Department is located at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital

1482, George Street

Sydney, NS B1P 1P3
OR call 911

Mental health and addiction crisis line 1-888-429-8167 available 24/7

For help finding local resources or to talk with a counselor call 211 available 24/7

To speak with a registered nurse call 811 available 24/7