Flu - advice on how to stay well this winter

Flu is a common viral infection spread by coughs and sneezes. It can be very unpleasant, but you'll usually begin to feel better within about a week. You can use over-the-counter medicine to manage your symptoms, which could include:

  • High temperature of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Headache
  • Aches and pains
  • Dry, chesty cough

Flu generally makes you so unwell and tired that you have to stay in bed.  You should try to avoid close contact with other people, as the virus is easily spread. To get better quicker, rest and sleep, stay warm, take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and help with aches and pains. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Your pharmacist can help with treatment advice and remedies.

People in at-risk groups, should be invited by their GP to have the flu vaccine, which is the most effective way to avoid becoming ill.

Flu nasal spray for children

The flu nasal spray is given as a single squirt up each nostril. It is needle free, quick and painless. The spray has used worldwide and has an excellent safety record.

Vaccinating your child helps protect them against flu and serious complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia. It helps protects you, your family and friends by preventing the spread of flu.

Children aged 2-3 can receive the flu nasal spray at their GP practice. You should receive a letter from your practice about this, but if you haven’t heard anything by November, please give them a call.

Children aged 4-9 who are in reception class and school years 1 to 5 receive the vaccine in school or nursery. You will receive a letter requesting your consent to give the nasal spray to your child.

In areas where the flu vaccine was piloted amongst primary school age children, there was a significant 85% reduction in hospital admissions due to confirmed influenza in primary school children.

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