Infectious illnesses

In a close-knit community like a university, we must all be vigilant to prevent infectious diseases.

Knowing how to recognise and treat these conditions is the best way to prevent them spreading. Make sure you're registered with a doctor - see healthcare for more information.

All students need to be up to date with vaccinations against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and meningococcal MenACWY vaccines. Arrange these with your doctor.

The symptoms of flu can include:

  • fever (38C or 100F or above)
  • tiredness or feeling weak
  • aches and pains
  • a cough or shortness of breath.

What should I do if I think I have flu?

  • Seek medical advice from the NHS website.
  • Limit contact with others - though tell your friends that you are unwell and ask them to check up on you in case you quickly become more acutely ill.
  • If you are in a vulnerable group, contact your doctor.
  • If you have been advised by a health practitioner that you have influenza, report this to the University using the self-certification of illness procedure.
  • If you need to take time off from studying, report this using the self-certification of illness procedure.

Self-certification of illness

Do I have meningitis?

Some symptoms of meningitis can be confused with flu-like symptoms. Although cases are very few, meningitis is potentially a very dangerous infection.

If you think you or a friend have any of the specific symptoms of meningitis, or the symptoms are rapidly becoming acute, seek medical advice immediately via your doctor, NHS 111 or York Hospital.

Menigitis symptoms, which may not all be present, include:

  • severe headache
  • dislike of bright light (photophobia)
  • neck stiffness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • confusion and drowsiness
  • loss of consciousness
  • convulsions/seizures
  • red/purple rash which does not fade on pressure, i.e. when viewed through a glass

What should I do if I think I have meningitis?

  • Seek medical advice from the NHS website.
  • Call your doctor or NHS 111 for advice if you're not sure if it's anything serious.
  • If you think you're seriously ill, call 999 for an ambulance or go to the York District Hospital Emergency Department.

Symptoms of measles include:

  • fever
  • irritability
  • cold or catarrh symptoms, including runny nose, sore throat and runny eyes
  • dry croupy cough
  • white Koplik's spots on the gums (on the second and third day)
  • diarrhoea

What should I do if I think I have measles?

  • Seek medical advice from the NHS website.
  • Contact your doctor - phone before your visit as measles is highly infectious.
  • Stay away from other people for five days from the onset of the rash.
  • Alert your college or housemates.

Symptons of mumps include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • swelling and tenderness of glands in one or both sides of the neck 
  • running nose and eyes, sore throat and ears

What should I do if I think I have mumps?

  • Seek medical advice from the NHS website.
  • Contact your doctor - phone before your visit as mumps is highly infectious.
  • Stay away from other people for at least five days after your symptoms first develop.
  • Alert your college or housemates.

Symptoms of tuberculosis include:

  • fever and night sweats, coughing and weight loss for more than three weeks
  • coughing up blood in phlegm
  • enlarged lymph glands, commonly in the neck area

What should I do if I think I have tuberculosis?

  • Seek medical advice from the NHS website.
  • Call your doctor or NHS 111.
  • Limit contact with others.

TB screening sessions

If you're from a country that has a high rate of tuberculosis (TB), we advise you to attend the screening sessions for TB when you arrive - even if you feel well and have had a chest x-ray as part of screening before entering the UK. 

The screenings are straightforward and you will not be expected to remove your clothes. The times and locations of the screenings can be found on the Welcome Week Programmes - see information for new undergraduates or new postgraduates.