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Freshers’ flu: How to avoid and beat it

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If you’re in any way knowledgeable about university, you’ve likely heard of the dreaded ‘freshers’ flu’. Freshers’ flu is not a particular illness, but rather an umbrella term for a variety of bugs which pass from person to person at the start of the academic term. 

The best way to beat the bug is to avoid catching it in the first place. Although freshers’ week is a busy and exciting time, be sure to keep your immune system up by eating well, getting adequate sleep and avoiding too much close contact with others. 

Image Credit: Jamworks

In particular, avoid sharing things such as drinks, vapes, or cigarettes, as this can encourage the spread of sickness.

What should you do if you catch freshers’ flu?

Take precautions

When you feel yourself coming down with any cold or flu-like symptoms, you must first test to make sure it isn’t coronavirus. If your test comes back negative, it’s still important that you inform your flatmates of the situation and take steps to limit your contact with the social areas of your accommodation. This will help to prevent spread.

Stay hydrated

Water is crucial to getting better as it helps to flush toxins from the system. If you have a sore throat, try lemon (and ginger) tea with honey. It’s soothing on the throat and hydrating too!

Image Credit: Lifebrate

Get plenty of rest

Sleep will be vital to restoring your immune system, be sure to get plenty of rest during your sickness and after to prevent catching another bug.

Alter your diet

While you’re sick, you’re going to want to look into food groups which can speed up the healing process. For example, garlic has both anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties. Where possible, incorporate these bug-busting foods into your diet and take supplements to make up for the vitamins and minerals you’re not getting. 

Keep yourself and your room clean

Sickness can cause sweating and coughing, surrounding you with more germs and bacteria. Change your sheets regularly, sanitise your hands and surfaces, and allow adequate airflow.

Image Credit: The Student Pocket Book

Avoid alcohol and smoking

Neither are good for your immune system and can drastically slow down the healing process. 

Freshers’ flu can develop into a more serious illness, such as a chest infection like bronchitis or even pneumonia. If your illness persists over more than two weeks, seek advice from a medical professional. 

Feature Image Credit: Pexels

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Journalism student at the University of Stirling. She/Her. Twitter & Instagram: @DeannaDawnn

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