News Article

Battling Freshers' Flu: A Guide for New Students

As you embark on your exciting journey into university life, you'll encounter numerous challenges and adventures. Sadly, "Freshers' Flu" is not limited to first-year students but can affect anyone in a shared living and learning environment. We'll discuss what Freshers' Flu is, how to prevent it, and what to do if you find yourself under its grip.

What is Freshers' Flu?

Freshers' Flu is not a specific disease but rather a colloquial term for the viral infections and illnesses that tend to circulate among students, particularly during the first few weeks of the academic year. These infections can include colds, the flu, sore throats, and various other contagious illnesses. They're often exacerbated by factors like the stress of adapting to a new environment, lack of sleep, and, most importantly, close contact with fellow students.

Preventing Freshers' Flu

Preventing Freshers' Flu involves a combination of healthy habits and practical measures to reduce your risk of getting sick. Here are some strategies to keep in mind:

  • Practice Good Hygiene: Regularly wash your hands with soap and carry a hand sanitiser when soap and water aren't available. This also involves keeping your living space clean. Disinfect commonly touched surfaces, like doorknobs, light switches, and shared appliances. This is very basic, but maintaining a clean living space can help prevent the spread of germs.
  • Get Vaccinated: If a flu vaccine is available, consider getting vaccinated. It's a proactive step in protecting yourself and those around you. Make sure you are up to date with all your vaccinations, including MMR and MenACWY. These vaccines help protect against measles, mumps, and rubella, as well as some common types of meningococcal meningitis (swelling of the brain lining) and septicaemia (blood poisoning).
  • Stay Well-Rested: Lack of sleep weakens your immune system. Ensure you get enough rest to keep your body in top shape to fend off illnesses.
  • Maintain a Balanced Diet: Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables will provide your body with essential nutrients that bolster your immune system. Similarly, proper hydration is essential for maintaining your overall health and can help you recover faster if you are sick.
  • At-home remedies are also useful for boosting your immune system. Herbal teas are cost-effective. Ginger is a well-known antioxidant, and you can make your own tea by slicing some ginger and lemon into hot water. Once it has brewed strain the tea and discard the pieces of ginger. Feel free to add some honey or cinnamon at your own preference.
  • Exercise Regularly: Physical activity boosts your immune system and overall wellbeing. King’s offers gym memberships from £15.99 a month, and classes from £6.00 – check out more here.
  • Rest and Hydrate: The most effective treatment for viral illnesses is rest and hydration. Stay in bed, drink fluids, and let your body recover.
  • Contact Health Services: If your symptoms worsen or don't improve after a few days, don't hesitate to contact King’s Health Services. You can register here for free. You can also get over-the-counter medications which can help alleviate symptoms like congestion, sore throat, and fever.
  • Stay Connected: Even if you have to isolate yourself to prevent the further spread of the virus, even when you're unwell, don't cut yourself off from friends and family. Virtual connections can provide emotional support and prevent loneliness.

Freshers' Flu is an almost inevitable part of university life, but with the right preventative measures and care, you can minimise its impact on your academic and social experiences. It's crucial to prioritise your health and wellbeing, especially during your first year when you're adjusting to a new environment and meeting new people. Adopt healthy habits and be mindful of your physical and mental health!


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