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Seasonal Flu Information Sheet

Seasonal Flu is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. It occurs every year, usually in the winter. 

Flu symptoms can include fever, chills, headaches, aching muscles, coughing and a sore throat. Your symptoms will usually peak after two to three days. You should begin to feel much better within five to eight days.

Healthy people with seasonal flu do not need to contact their GP as they will get better on their own by taking over-the-counter flu remedies, resting, and drinking plenty of fluids.

Caring for yourself at home

Make sure you have plenty of rest and are taking paracetamol-based cold remedies to lower your temperature and relieve symptoms.
Some over-the-counter treatments can be given to children who have flu, according to the instructions supplied with each medicine. Under-16s must not take aspirin or ready-made flu remedies containing it.
Always read the medicine's label or check with the pharmacist that it is suitable for children to take.
Drink plenty of fluids while you are recovering. You may need to stay in bed for two or three days after your symptoms peak.

Contact your GP if any of the following applies to you:

  • Your symptoms have got much worse, or you have developed other symptoms that are not typical of seasonal flu, such as a rash.
  • Your symptoms have lasted for longer than a week.
  • You have a medical condition that is making your flu worse.
  • If you have severe chest pain, breathing difficulties or heavy loss of blood please call 999.

Protect others

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Throw used tissues away immediately.
  • Work from home if possible, and keeping children who have symptoms away from school.