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Colds and Influenza

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:

  1. influenza A, with strains of H1N1 and H3N2 (also known as the Aussie flu)
  2. 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
  • headache
  • 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.

For any life threatening conditions patients should always call 999 or go the nearest NHS emergency department.