Spoiler alert: it’s probably mono.
College is an amazing time.
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But the hectic college lifestyle and abundance of germs on campus means that students get sick… a lot.
It’s easy to get sick in college for several reasons:
* Infectious diseases tend to spread where large groups are clustered together – like in dorms, libraries, lecture halls, gyms, and frat houses. Everything from a head cold and strep throat to serious bugs like norovirus and meningitis flourish among college students.
* And communal living means that most students will spend all four years sharing bathrooms, bedrooms, or living spaces with friends or strangers.
* Also, college can be a stressful shitshow. Taking care of yourself can often go overlooked, so students tend to have a lowered resistance when it comes to infections.
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BuzzFeed Health spoke to Dr. Pritish Tosh, infectious disease specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and germ expert Kelly Reynolds, PhD, director of environmental health sciences at the University of Arizona, about how college students can stay healthy when the odds (and germs) are against them.
Don’t share cups at parties.
It’s basically like taking a sip of all the germs, bacteria, and viruses in the other person’s mouth. Sharing cups or bottles is a quick and easy way to expose yourself to a number of things, from cold sores to mononucleosis (mono).
Mono is usually called the kissing disease because it’s transmitted through saliva, but you can also get it from sharing drinks, so it spreads like wildfire on college campuses. It can cause fever, fatigue, spleen issues, and a sore throat lasting up to six weeks, which is a very long time to be out of commission in college.
So just don’t share cups. Even during beer pong. It will not destroy your skill or credibility to take a drink out of your own damn cup or can, and not the one that grimy pong ball landed in.
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