There will be times of the year where you may be more vulnerable to an illness or condition that will make you feel unwell during your studies.

As some illnesses are contagious, good personal hygiene is important in helping you keep healthy and well.

Colds, coughs and flu

Colds, coughs and flus are very common, especially during winter. Most colds are caused by a virus and can be easily managed at home with over-the-counter medications and home remedies. Influenza (flu) is more serious and a vaccine is available.


Fever is a rise in body temperature, usually caused by infection. Normal body temperature is around 37°C but can vary. A mild fever (up to 39°C) can help the immune system to get rid of the infection and in most cases of mild fever resolve by themselves within a couple of days. Some ways to help manage a fever includes taking paracetamol or ibuprofen to bring the temperature down, drink plenty of water to keep hydrated and lots of rest.

Gastroenteritis (gastro)

Gastroenteritis is an illness triggered by the infection and inflammation of the digestive system. Symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting. Wash hands with soap and water to reduce the risk of gastro and drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated.

Glandular fever

Glandular fever is a viral infection that causes a disease similar to influenza. It is common in young adults and is a serious and very contagious condition. To prevent the spread of glandular fever, ensure proper hand washing practices and avoid sharing food and drink items.

Hay fever

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to environmental allergens such as pollen, dust, mould and animal hair. Some symptoms of hayfever include sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes, throat and nose. Some medications are available from the pharmacist to help relieve these symptoms but seek advice from the pharmacist or doctor.


Headaches have many causes but the most common are tension, stress, migraine and dehydration. Treatment for a headache depends on the cause but some treatments may include taking over-the-counter pain relief medications and stress management and/or relaxation techniques.

Sexually transmitted infections

Sexually Transmissible Infections are caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites and are passed from one person to another during sexual contact. They can infect many different parts of the body and often have no obvious symptoms. Play it safe and use condoms.

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