What is Influenza?

Influenza - or, more famously, the 'flu' is a viral infection that affects your nose, throat and more rarely your lungs. It’s extremely contagious and spreads from person to person through sharing drinks and cutlery, direct contact, and coughing and sneezing. (Flu germs don’t care if they’re spreading from touch or through the air, just as long as they hit!) 

Symptom summary 

  • Dry cough
  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Sore throat
  • Headache

Prevention tips 

Beat the germs! 

If germs are stopped, flu can be stopped too! You and your family can prevent the spread of germs and flu by improving hand hygiene through regular handwashing with soap or using hand sanitizer and by covering your noses and mouths with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Remember to dispose of used tissues responsibly as well.

Boost your immune system!

Power up your body’s natural defences against flu by exercising and eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. 

Get vaccinated!

Vaccines are constantly being developed to target the most common strains of flu — so it’s important you and your children (especially those under two) have the jab every year.


I’ve had flu already this year so i can’t get it again…

You’re immune and are less likely to get the type of flu you had — but you could still catch another strain.

I shouldn’t have the flu jab because i’m pregnant…

The opposite is true! Not only does your baby need protecting from the virus, but your baby needs you to be as healthy as possible too. So no fevers, please!  

Medical source: British health authority


  • http://www.who.int/topics/influenza/en/
  • http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs211/en/index.html
  • http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm/
  • http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/pregnant.htm

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