Seasonal influenza is circulating in the UK. The flu is a contagious viral illness which occurs most often during the UK's winter months and peaks between January and March.
There are two types of influenza currently affecting people:
- influenza A, with strains of H1N1 and H3N2 (also known as the Aussie flu)
- influenza B, which includes the Yamagata strain (also known as the Japanese flu) which is milder but more common.
Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include:
- a sudden fever – a body temperature of 38C or above
- aching body
- feeling tired or exhausted
- dry, chesty cough
- sore throat
- difficulty sleeping
- loss of appetite
- diarrhoea or stomach pain
- nausea and sickness
Complications include bacterial pneumonia and can be life threatening, especially with:
- older people
- those with certain underlying health conditions eg. Diabetes, heart problems, kidney, liver and neurological disease
- people with a weakened immune system
- pregnant women and small babies.
To aid recovery it is recommended that you,
- rest and sleep
- keep warm
- ask your pharmacist about over-the-counter medication to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains
- drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (your urine should be light yellow or clear)
You should see a doctor immediately if you have:
- severe or prolonged 'flu
- concerns about your baby or child
- a chronic condition
- are over 65 years of age
- symptoms that have not improved after seven days.
At our Urgent Care Centres we offer thorough clinical assessment by our experienced doctors, rapid influenza testing and appropriate treatment.