Flu can be a serious disease every year. However, to date, the current flu viruses circulating are not causing more serious disease than in previous years.
The best way to prevent flu is to avail of the flu vaccine if you are eligible. High uptake of the vaccine is required to help protect individuals and those in the community that are more vulnerable to the serious complications of flu. You should have your flu vaccination at the earliest opportunity and it is not too late to have it now.
Who is eligible for the flu vaccine?
- Those over 65
- Preschool Children
- Children in P1 – P7
- People in the following risk groups
- Chronic respiratory disease
- Chronic Heart Disease
- Chronic Kidney Disease at Stage 3,4 or 5
- Chronic Liver Disease
- Chronic Neurological Disease
- Learning Disability
- Asplenia or Splenic Dysfunction
- Weakened Immune System due to Disease
- Morbidly Obese
- Pregnant Women
- People in long-stay residential Homes
- Household Contacts of Immunocompromised Individuals
- HSC Workers
What are the Symptoms of Flu?
Symptoms of flu include:
- Fever (typically 38 -40◦C) – this tends to be more severe in children
- Fatigue/unusual tiredness
- Runny Nose
- Sore Throat
- Shortness of Breath or a Cough
- Loss of Appetite
- Aching Muscles
- Vomiting or Diarrhoea
- Sensitivity to Light
- Dry, Unproductive Cough
Flu symptoms usually peak after 2-3 days and you should begin to feel much better within 5-8 days.
It is important to remember that for most people, flu can be treated at home with rest, drinking plenty of fluids and taking medicine such as paracetamol, as directed to control the symptoms.
If you have a high temperature and breathing difficulties, if your symptoms are getting worse over time or you haven’t improved after a week, you should contact your GP.