Health and Wellbeing

Students – be aware of the signs and symptoms of Influenza, aka ‘the flu’

Our Student Occupational Health Team tell us more about Influenza…


If you are wondering whether you or a fellow student has a cold, the flu, influenza, or similar.  Or you’d like to know how to prevent becoming unwell or what to look out for, then please read this blog for more information about what, signs and symptoms, telling the difference and what to do.


So, what is Influenza?

Influenza is commonly known as “The Flu”. It is a highly contagious viral illness. The flu virus will be contained in the droplets that are expelled from the nose and throat of an infected person when they are coughing or sneezing. Anybody who inhales these droplets will be at risk of catching the flu. The droplets can spread approximately one metre, before landing on hard surfaces such as door handles, food, remote controls etc. The virus can survive for around 24 hours.


What signs and symptoms should I look out for?

  • A high temperature: 38 degrees or above
  • General aches and pains: limb or joint pain
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • A dry chesty cough
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea & tummy pain
  • Diarrhoea & vomiting
  • Runny blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • Loss of appetite.


How can I tell the difference between the common cold and “The Flu”?

The symptoms of a cold and flu are very similar. Below are the main differences:


  • Occurs rapidly
  • Fever and aching muscles
  • You become too poorly to carry out normal everyday life


  • Occurs slowly
  • Generally affects nose and throat
  • Symptoms are mild, you are able to function normally


What treatment will I need?

If you are normally fit and well there is no need to visit your GP.

  • Stay at home or halls of residences.
  • If you are in Halls notify one of your friends or residence manager so that they can check on you at regular intervals.
  • Rest
  • Keep warm
  • Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated
  • Take simple analgesia such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen

If you suffer one of the conditions below notify your doctor:

  • You have a weakened immune system
  • You are pregnant
  • You have diabetes
  • You have asthma
  • Your symptoms are worsening and lasting over a week.


What can I do to help prevent becoming unwell?

Good hygiene:

  • Wash hands regularly
  • Clean surfaces such as remote controls, keyboards, door handles etc
  • Use tissues when coughing/sneezing
  • Put used tissues in bin.


Free flu vaccine for Health care students – All health care students are able to get a free flu vaccine when they are attending their placements in the first instance or Student Occupational Health.


Worried about your health?

If you are unsure or concerned about your health we strongly advise that you make a GP appointment. If you do not already have a GP please contact Park Place Surgery.

Further information relating to student health and occupational health is available on the University Intranet.


Best wishes,

Student Occupational Health Team – Counselling, Health & Wellbeing 


Your Student Life, Supported.

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park

For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.



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