What is The Flu?
Influenza is an acute illness of the upper and/or lower respiratory tracts. It can be severe but most patients recover within 2 – 7 days. Symptoms usually include rapid onset of fever, headache, aches and pains, cough, sore throat and fatigue. Influenza can affect all age groups and is highly infectious. It is caused by influenza viruses A and B and there are different strains of the flu virus.
Who is Most at Risk of Getting the Flu Virus?
We recommend all these groups of people get the flu vaccination every year to prevent against illness.
- adults or children with chronic respiratory conditions
- adults or children with chronic heart conditions
- pregnant women (vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy)
- all those over 65 years of age
You can help prevent the flu by getting the flu vaccine. New flu vaccines are released every year to keep up with rapidly adapting flu viruses. Because flu viruses evolve so quickly, last year’s vaccine may not protect you from this year’s viruses. It is best to get the vaccine as early as possible in the season usually September/October because it can take up to 2 weeks for you to become protected after the vaccine. The vaccination will take about 15 minutes to be completed.