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Seasonal flu 

Seasonal flu is a highly infectious illness caused by a flu virus. The virus infects your lungs and upper airways, causing a sudden high temperature and general aches and pains. It is vital you don't underestimate the effects of this virus as it is not the same as getting a cold and it can seriously affect your health.


Seasonal flu vaccination for pregnant women and people in ‘at risk groups’

Anyone can get flu, but some groups are more vulnerable than others. It is strongly recommend that pregnant women and people who are in at risk groups, including children, contact their GP or practice nurse now, to ensure they are given their seasonal flu vaccination.

For more information about 'Seasonal flu - The flu vaccination - Who should have it and why'

Guide to flu symptoms and looking after yourself

You can protect yourself by practising good hand hygiene with the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ technique. This means carrying tissues, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, disposing of the tissue after one use, and cleaning hands as soon as possible with soap and water.

For a guide to flu symptoms and how to look after yourself, visit the NHS Choices website.

For advice on whether you should see your GP or look after yourself at home, use the NHS Direct symptom checker. However, if your enquiry is for a child under the age of 5, call your GP or NHS Direct on 0845 4647.


Further reading

Flu safe
Seasonal flu vaccination campaign
Flu is a highly infectious and potentially serious illness caused by influenza viruses.
The flu vaccine is offered to everyone over the age of 65 and younger people in at risk groups, including people with long term conditions, such as, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, serious kidney and liver disease.
This year it is recommended that all pregnant women recieve the seasonal flu jab.
If you are the parent of a child (over six months) with a long-term condition, speak to your GP about the flu jab. Your child's condition may get worse if they catch flu.
If you are the carer of an elderly or disabled person, make sure they have had their flu jab. 
Further reading

Seasonal Flu Questions and Answers

Q1. What can I do to avoid catching seasonal flu?

A1. If you are 65 or over, or have certain conditions, you are especially at risk of developing serious complications as a result of flu. You are eligible for a free seasonal flu jab, and this is the best way to guard against potentially life-threatening consequences of contracting flu. General tips to help avoid spreading germs to others and avoid picking them up yourself include always carrying tissues, covering your cough and sneeze with a tissue, disposing of the tissue after one use, and cleaning your hands as soon and as often as you can.


Q2. How do I know if I have seasonal flu and not just a cold?

A2. Patients with seasonal flu typically have a fever or a high temperature (over 38°C / 100.4°F) and two or more of the following symptoms:

  • unusual tiredness
  • headache
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath or cough
  • loss of appetite
  • aching muscles
  • diarrhoea and/or vomiting