✨ Freshers' Flu ✨

icon-time 01 October 2018
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If you've recently started or are about to start university, you ought to watch out for Freshers' Flu. 😑

Freshers' Flu is the colloquial British term given to the spate of cold virus infections commonly contracted by new university students (Freshers) in September/October. 🤒

 Flu (Influenza) is actually quite different and more serious than a cold, but sometimes people confuse them, or call a cold 'flu' to make it seem more serious. Flu is used in "Freshers' Flu" just for alliterative purposes (because the two words start with the same letter). 🤧

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Other students will also likely find themselves more susceptible to catching colds at the start of the autumn term, but the effect is particularly pronounced in new students. There are a few likely reasons for this effect:

  1. Students from all round the world introduce each other to viruses they are not immune to.
  2. Freshers often spend the first week or two at uni going out a lot. They may be sharing drinks or getting intimate with new people which makes the transmission of viruses more likely.
  3. Often going out means drinking a lot of alcohol, which can also weaken the immune system.
  4. Sharing spaces and using doors in communal dormitories and lecture theatres can also help viruses spread more easily.

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Although it is often referred to as the common cold, the term actually applies to hundreds of different strains of virus that cause similar symptoms. This is why you cannot be immunised against them all, and why it is so difficult to develop an effective cure. 😷

If you are unlucky enough to catch Freshers' Flu, there is some evidence zinc may help you recover more quickly. Even if it doesn't help, it's a good excuse to eat a couple of burgers or a pad krapow nua. 🥩🍔