Do you have one of these common college ailments?

It’s that time of year. Your throat gets scratchy. You start to cough. You feel achy and tired. Your head hurts. Or maybe you have all of those symptoms. And, you’re living on campus, where you’re in pretty close quarters with other students who may be experiencing weird sicknesses of their home.

But, before you start taking any medicine, you need to know what the heck you have.

Our friends at Grad Guard have a list of the five most common college ailments and their symptoms, which will help you figure out what is ailing you.

Mononucleosis
Symptoms include a high fever, swollen glands, a severe sore throat, weakness and fatigue.  Mono is not a sickness that should be taken lightly, even though it’s known as “the kissing disease.” It is spread by saliva, so if you think you or a friend may have it, you don’t want to sip out of his/her water bottle or have him/her sip out of yours. If you suspect you have it, see a doctor right away.

Flu
Symptoms include fever, achy muscles, headache, congestion, weakness and fatigue.  The flu shares some symptoms with the common cold, but the flu is worse. If you’ve got it, you’re probably going to miss at least a couple days of class. Get rest and stay hydrated. However, if you think you need medicine, your campus health center can help.

Pinkeye
Symptoms include eye redness, itchy or sore eyes, eye discharge and swollen eyelids. Many students end up getting pinkeye at some point while they’re in college. While pinkeye can be caused by viruses or allergies, it’s also caused by bacteria, which is often left when so many people are touching the same surface, like desktops or computer keyboards in a lab. Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes, and be especially careful if you wear contact lenses. Wash your hands a lot.

Strep throat
Symptoms include a severe sore throat, difficulty swallowing and fever. If you have a severe sore throat but no other cold symptoms, it’s a good idea to visit your campus health center. Keep in mind that it’s contagious, so don’t share facial products or towels.

Food poisoning
Symptoms include nausea, stomach cramping and diarrhea. If you get food poisoning – perhaps you ate something in the back of the fridge that was just a little too old – the best thing you can do is drink lots of water. If you get dehydrated, you may have additional problems to deal with.

Stay healthy, my friends.

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