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Seasonal FLU

Flu is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. You can catch flu – short for influenza – all year round, but it’s especially common in winter, which is why it’s also known as “seasonal flu”.It’s not the same as the common cold. Flu usually starts more suddenly, is more severe and lasts longer.

The main symptoms of flu include:

  • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • tiredness and weakness so much so that you need to stay in bed
  • a headache
  • general aches and pains
  • a dry, chesty cough

You can help stop yourself catching flu or spreading it to others by:

  • washing your hands regularly with soap and warm water
  • regularly cleaning surfaces such as your computer keyboard, telephone and door handles to get rid of germs
  • using tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • putting used tissues in a bin as soon as possible
  • avoiding unnecessary contact with other people while you’re infectious

To ease symptoms:

  • rest at home
  • keep warm and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and to relieve aches if necessary
  • stay off work or school until you’re feeling better, for most people this will take about a week

When to see your GP:

  • If you are normally fit and healthy there is usually no need to see a doctor but consider contacting your GP if:
  • you are 65 years of age or over
  • you are pregnant
  • you have a chronic medical condition – such as diabetes, heart, lung or kidney disease, or a neurological disease
  • you have a weakened immune system – e.g. you’re having chemotherapy or have HIV
  • you develop chest pain, difficulty breathing, or start coughing up blood
  • your symptoms are getting worse over time or haven’t improved after a week

For more information visit:

Call NHS 111 if you are concerned or need advice

NHS England Seasonal Flu Advice: