Freshers’ flu – like man flu – is not technically flu.
An infectious respiratory disease of uncertain origin has, however, become an accepted fact of student life, with an annual outbreak occurring among the undergraduate population arriving at universities in the UK every autumn.
A number of theories have been put forward as to exactly what Freshers’ flu might be, with possible candidates including coronaviruses, parvoviruses, enteroviruses or respiratory syncytial virus, all of which cause cold-like symptoms. It might also be caused by exposure to a combination of those viruses as they simultaneously converge in one place from up and down the country.
Regular handwashing before you eat and keeping your hands away from your mouth, nose, and eyes as much as possible are key to avoiding any respiratory disease.
If you do come down with Freshers’ flu, keeping hydrated, eating well and getting enough sleep will help relieve symptoms. It’s also a good idea to stay indoors whilst ill, to avoid infecting others.
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