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Freshers’ Flu, Real or Not?

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Every September students from all over migrate to the small city of Bangor. After the heavy drinking period known as freshers, lectures begin in full-throttle. By mid-October, everyone is wrapped up and fully dosed with flu medications and feeling absolutely rotten. The plague of Freshers’ Flu has hit Bangor. We know most of you are probably feeling it, but is Freshers Flu an actual illness?

One thing Freshers’ Flu isn’t, it is not a ‘flu’. Seasonal influenza’s, which emerge from South-East Asia, don’t usually present cases until December. There is, however, a very small chance that it could be the very rare, influenza C, but there is little surveillance and therefore no information on the links between Freshers’ Flu and influenza C.

It is not uncommon for large outbreaks of respiratory illnesses to pop up but these aren’t generally seasonal. Freshers’ Flu outbreaks occur annually from the end of September through October.  Drinking, stress, alcohol, and lack of sleep are all contributing factors to being hit with a case of Freshers’ Flu. Though everyone gains natural immunity throughout their life, the gathering of students from various backgrounds results in individuals being exposed to new illnesses. However, the lack of research on Freshers’ Flu leaves most assumptions unresolved.

Freshers’ is real! But it’s not a ‘flu’, it’s just a really bad cold.

 

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Charlotte Bilsby

Science Editor 2018-19

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