Freshers’ flu is the name given to illnesses suffered by students during the first few weeks at university. Unfortunately it’s hard to avoid… around 90% of new university students experience this!

Freshers’ flu is normally nothing more than a bad cold, but can still make you feel rubbish for a couple of weeks. At wilko, we’re with you every step of the way! We’ve got some advice on what you should do if you think you’ve got freshers’ flu, and check out our handy flu-fighting check list – helping you to be prepared!

Cold remedies

The below should be taken as advice only. If you experience the below symptoms, consult your doctor.

Common symptoms of freshers’ flu

  • Sore throat
  • High temperature
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Shivering
  • Fever

Freshers’ flu is caused by a large amount of students from around the country coming together carrying germs that other students aren’t immune to. Other causes include being run down due to an unhealthy diet, lack of sleep (very common when you start uni!) and large amounts of alcohol consumed by many students in the first few weeks of university.

How to help prevent freshers’ flu

  • Register with a local GP – register with a GP as soon as you arrive at uni, so that you have a conveniently located doctor if needed.
  • Get as much sleep as you can – freshers’ week normally includes quite a few late nights, but make sure you catch up on your sleep… just not at the expense of your lectures!
  • Manage what you drink – try not to drink alcohol on consecutive days, and drink plenty of water to flush out those toxins.
  • Eat well – try and get 5 portions of fruit and veg each day
  • Take vitamins & supplements – consider taking supplements such as wilko Chewable Vitamin C or Berocca Original Effervescent, to help maintain a healthy immune system. You can find all vitamins and supplements online.

Cold, cough and flu remedies

What should I do if I think I have freshers’ flu?

  • Take over-the-counter pain remedies – such as wilko paracetamol, or perhaps a paracetamol with a decongestant if needed. wilko Max Strength Cold & Flu Capsules will make the symptoms more bearable.
  • Try steam inhalation – this involves sitting with you head over a bowl of hot water. This can help ease congestion by loosening mucus… sounds a bit gross but it helps!
  • Drink plenty of water – to replace the lost fluid
  • Stock up on home comforts – this won’t shift the virus, but little things can help you feel better, such as a hot water bottle and your favourite film.
  • Although it’s extremely rare, it’s worth knowing the symptoms of meningitis. Outbreaks tend to occur where people live close together, such as students at university. Look out for flu-like symptoms such as a sniff neck, and/or a rash. In this case, see your doctor immediately, or use the NHS 111 service, by calling 111. The service is available 24 hours a day, and is free from landlines and mobiles.

The Wilko flu fighting check list

We’ve pulled together a handy list of things to stock up on in case you’re a victim of freshers’ flu:

Visit our health and wellbeing section online or pop into your local wilko for your full freshers flu prevention pack!

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