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Common Illnesses College Students Get

Are you a student in college, or do you have kids who are in college? If you do, you may have realized that college is no different from grade school or high school when it comes to catching an illness. So many people packed into classrooms and dormitories all day long means that it’s very easy to catch that stomach bug, cold, or even more serious illnesses. If you’re in college, here are some of the most common illnesses that you should watch out for.

The Common Cold

This is a pretty obvious one. While there’s not much you can do to cure a cold once you get it, you can increase the amount of vitamin C you intake every day to help boost your immune system. Also make sure you’re eating right and that you’re not over-indulging in alcohol or anything else that can affect your immune system, such as not sleeping much.

The Flu

Another common illness students come down with is the flu. It’s not always the common flu, either—the bird flu hit many universities. Some university health centers do offer free or low-cost flu vaccines. It’s a good idea to get one!


Often referred to as Mono or the “kissing disease,” mononucleosis is very common among students. Its symptoms, unfortunately, can easy be mistaken for other illnesses: mono manifests as running a fever, having a bad sore throat, and feeling very tired and worn out. Most people don’t go to the doctor until the fever appears, which isn’t always right away. College students tend to have fairly severe mono, too, and some even have to withdraw from the semester because of it.


Strep throat is another issue a lot of students have. Living close together promotes the spread of strep, as does that fact that most college students aren’t getting enough sleep. This weakens the immune system, making it easy for people to get sick. Fortunately, unlike mono, strep can be handled with antibiotics, and students are normally back to class fairly quickly.


The norovirus is just one of a number of different food-related viruses that students can easily pick up. It leads to nausea and diarrhea. The norovirus can quickly spread from dirty surfaces and contaminated areas. Shared bathrooms and unclean cafeterias are often breading grounds for the viruses behind these stomach illnesses. Remember to wash your hands frequently and make certain you disinfect your shared bathroom regularly to avoid the norovirus.

Meningitis, especially meningococcal meningitis, often hits during the winter and spring seasons. Meningitis outbreaks have actually increased recently, so more and more universities are encouraging students to get the vaccination, especially if they are living in the dorms. Some universities, in fact, are requiring it.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any diseases.