What is flu?
Flu occurs every year, usually in the winter, which is why it is sometimes called seasonal flu. It is a very infectious disease that can come on very quickly. The most common symptoms of flu are fever, chills, cough, headache, pains in your joints and muscles and extreme tiredness. Healthy people usually recover within 3 to 4 weeks, but some people can develop serious life-threatening complications and need to be admitted to hospital.
Colds are much less serious and usually start with a stuffy or a runny nose, sore throat and cough.
Managing your Flu to Stay Well this Winter
How do we prevent the spread of flu?
Flu is unpredictable and there can be different strains of the virus. However, over the last ten years, the flu vaccine has generally been very good at targeting the circulating strains.
The flu vaccine is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults and children who are most at risk of flu and its complications.
The flu vaccine
The flu vaccine’s the best available protection against the flu virus. It’s very safe, only takes a few minutes and will last around a year.
Flu’s more than a bad cold and can make people very unwell. It’s highly infectious with symptoms that come on quickly and can hit anyone. In the most serious cases, flu can bring on pneumonia, or other serious infections which can, in extreme cases, result in death.
The vaccine’s offered each winter flu season, which lasts from October to March.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
Any strain of flu can be dangerous for people who are vulnerable to it. That’s why the following people are urged to get the free flu vaccine as soon as it’s available every winter to help protect against flu:
- you’re 65 years of age or over
- you’re pregnant
- you have a long-term medical condition – such as diabetes, lung disease, kidney disease or a neurological disease
- you have a weakened immune system – for example, because you’re having chemotherapy or have HIV
- you develop chest pain, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or start coughing up blood
- your symptoms are getting worse over time or haven’t improved after a week
In these situations, you may need medication to treat or prevent complications of flu. Your doctor may recommend taking antiviral medicine to reduce your symptoms and help you recover more quickly.
What if I’m not in one of the eligible groups?
If you’re 16 years old, or over, and not in one of the eligible groups for the free flu immunisation, you can get the vaccine in many high street pharmacies for a small fee.
What to do if I have flu?
Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include symptoms such as:
- fever (temperature above 38°C)
- tiredness or exhaustion
Every autumn, around September, we normally start our flu clinics.(this is dependant on the availability of the vaccine). We aim to vaccinate as many of those at risk, as indicated above.
You can book online if you are registered for online services, (only if this service is available) or call reception to make an appointment.
Keep an eye out under the news section of this website for when the clinics start.