UCI Forward

UCI Forward is our commitment to the well-being of our community as we ramp up campus operations. Working together, each of us doing our part, we can move UCI Forward.

July 7 - Over-the-counter meds vs. COVID; Internet outage ahead

Section 1

Anteater Time Machine: Horses tied up near the Irvine Town Center, across Campus Drive from UCI, in 1965.

Anteater Time Machine: Horses tied up near the Irvine Town Center, across Campus Drive from UCI, in 1965.

In this continuing series, UCI experts answer questions about COVID-19, vaccinations, variants or the future of work. Submit questions via email.

Today’s question is fielded by Dr. Susan Huang, medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention:

If someone has COVID-19, do over-the-counter treatments such as antihistamines, expectorants, cough suppressants, zinc and/or pain medications (ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.) help or make things worse?

Although no one has directly studied over-the-counter medications and COVID-19, the general guidance used for other cold and flu illnesses should apply here:

  • In general, these over-the-counter medications are helpful for comfort. They also can decrease the chance of spreading infection by reducing runny noses, sneezing and cough.

  • However, remember that fever helps you fight infection. If you have a low or moderate fever that isn’t bothering you, it’s better to let your body fight the infection on its own.

  • Also, although it’s fine to take over-the-counter medications that make you feel better, don’t use them to mask symptoms so you can still go to work or socialize and risk infecting others.

  • Zinc has proven to be effective in shortening the duration of colds, although you have to take a lot of lozenges. Whether that benefit extrapolates to COVID-19 is still under study, but I would take it.


Internet outage planned for Friday night

As part of a multimillion dollar upgrade to UCI’s internet access and security, the Office of Information Technology will shut down campus and medical center internet services from 10 p.m. Friday to midnight, followed by intermittent, brief outages until 10 a.m. Saturday. For details on which services will be affected, visit https://www.oit.uci.edu/2022/06/21/uci-campus-internet-upgrade/

UCI Health honored for sustainability efforts

Practice Greenhealth, a national organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in healthcare, honored UCI Health with three awards for its climate, energy and overall sustainability efforts.


Got COVID? Working from home can backfire, doctors say

Sleep equals immunity,” one researcher said. While fighting off the virus, “you want to have your immune system not distracted by anything else,” including stress from work.

Secrets of coronavirus ‘brain fog’ starting to lift

Researchers studying mice with mild COVID-19 infections discovered the virus disrupted the normal activity of several brain cell populations and left behind signs of inflammation. More studies are needed to see how the results translate into treatments for human patients.

State funds effort to boost diversity in STEM Ph.D. programs

California will spend $5 million on the Cal-Bridge program, which offers a pathway for underrepresented community college and state university students to pursue Ph.D. degrees through the University of California and join the state’s science and technology workforce. UCI is one of the founders of the program.


Note: Some news sites require subscriptions to read articles. The UCI Libraries offer free subscriptions to The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, The Orange County Register and The Washington Post for students, faculty and staff.

China’s anniversary deal for Hong Kong: Conform and prosper

The Christian Science Monitor, July 6
Cited: Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Chancellor’s Professor of history

Orange County sees slight increases in COVID-19 vaccines

City News Service via Spectrum News 1, July 6
Cited: Dr. Jose Mayorga, executive director of UCI Family Health Centers, and Andrew Noymer, associate professor of population health and disease prevention

The Colonial Roots of the Black Mustard Plant

KCET, July 5
Cited: Tom Boellstorff, professor of anthropology


#UCIconnected spotlights student, alumni, faculty and staff photos, essays, shoutouts, hobbies, artwork, unusual office decorations, activities and more. Send submissions via email or post on social media with the #UCIconnected hashtag.


25 new campus cases

On Wednesday, UCI recorded 25 new cases of COVID-19: 19 students and six employees. For more information, visit the UCI COVID-19 dashboard.

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Potential workplace exposure

UCI provides this notification of a potential workplace COVID-19 exposure. Employees and subcontractors who were in these locations on the dates listed may have been exposed to the coronavirus. You may be entitled to various benefits under applicable federal and state laws and University-specific policies and agreements. The full notification is available on the UCI Forward site. If you have been identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 case, the UCI Contact Tracing Program will contact you and provide additional direction.

For COVID-19 questions

UCI Forward - information on campus status and operational updates

UCI Health COVID-19 Updates - important information related to UCI Health

UCI Health COVID-19 FAQs

UCI Coronavirus Response Center - available at covid19@uci.edu or via phone at (949) 824-9918

Contact Tracing and Vaccine Navigation Services - assistance with vaccines and vaccine uploads; available at contacttracing@uci.edu or via phone at (949) 824-2300

Program in Public Health chatline - answers to questions about COVID-19

For questions specific to your personal health situation, please contact your doctor or healthcare provider.