Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include:
- Fever, caused by a high temperature of 38°C or above
- Aching muscles
- A dry cough or breathlessness
- A sore throat
- A headache
- Appetite loss
- Feeling nauseous
Flu or influenza is caused by influenza viruses which infect the nose, throat and lungs. The flu season is usually from December to March. Flu viruses spread when infected people cough, sneeze or talk and send droplets containing the virus into the air. These are then inhaled by others who are nearby. Flu is also contagious and can also be spread by touch when a healthy person touches an object after an infected person has touched it.
For most people, flu is a mild illness that can be treated at home by:
- Keeping warm
- Taking paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower the temperature and treat aches and pains
- Drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration
If symptoms persist or if you are pregnant, over 65, have an underlying medical condition or compromised immune system or are concerned about a child exhibiting symptoms of flu, consult your doctor.