Fresher’s flu? Find out the most common student illnesses

Fresher’s flu? Find out the most common student illnesses

Throwing yourself into university life can be great fun – taking on new activities, meeting new people, and encountering new… illnesses.  

But as university is technically a learning experience, you’ll also get to learn the various ailments and treatments that come with university life – so here’s our guide on spotting those student sicknesses and how you can manage them:

1.      Fresher’s flu. With universities starting during a seasonal change (gorgeous summer transforming into cold, windy weather), don’t be surprised if during your first few weeks at university you fall victim to fresher’s flu. You’ll most likely suffer from a fever and be bedridden for a few days – but the best way to see this virus out is to get plenty of rest (no matter how tempting it is to go to all the new fresher’s events). Drink plenty of fluids and if you can, take paracetamol, but if it worsens then be sure to visit your GP.

2.      Mumps. If your face has swollen up so much that you look like the moon, then you may have a case of the mumps. Again, the best way to recover from this is to get lots of rest, drink water and eat mushy food – as the only way to protect yourself from this is getting the MMR injection (check with your parents to see if you got this as a kid). Be sure to quarantine yourself as it’s highly contagious, and give it at least five days after getting these symptoms before you mix with others.

3.      Meningitis. Have you been suffering from an extreme headache and a stiff neck for the past few days? Has a rash suddenly come about that is turning into purple patches? To check for symptoms visit Meningitis Now – antibiotics can usually treat meningitis but it’s always advisable to seek a medical professional to find out the appropriate treatment.  

4.      Glandular fever. Usually caught from coughing and sneezing (transmitted via saliva), common symptoms include headaches and fevers along with enlarged tonsils and a sore throat. But the good news is if you’ve already had it, then you’re immune from future infection!

5.      Mental health. Studying for a degree can be quite stressful at times, but compounded with money problems, problematic living arrangements or even other troubles, sometimes these stresses can be hugely overwhelming and you may feel that you are struggling in what may feel like unstable circumstances. If this is the case, the first thing you need to do is speak up. Talk to someone you can trust, whether it’s a friend or a medical professional, or alternatively check out mental health charity Mind – where you can drop into a local centre or join their online community.

For more information, head to NHS Choices. Packed with helpful advice as well as health tools and trackers, learn how you can help yourself – and others – in taking care of your health today.

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