NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

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Seasonal flu


What is flu?

Flu is an infectious and common viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes.

It's not the same as the common cold. Flu is caused by a different group of viruses. Symptoms tend to be more severe and last longer.

You can catch flu – short for influenza – all year round, but it is especially common in winter, which is why it is also known as "seasonal flu".

Flu causes a sudden high temperature, headache and general aches and pains, tiredness and a sore throat. You can also lose your appetite, feel nauseous and have a cough.

Flu symptoms can make you feel so exhausted and unwell that you have to stay in bed and rest until you feel better.

Flu Myth buster

Click here for our flu myth buster, helping you to stay well this winter. 

Find out more about the flu vaccine, this film aims to dispel myths around flu and reminds everyone how important flu vaccination is.

Are you going to get the flu vaccine this winter?

Please complete our flu vaccine poll here

When to see a doctor

If you are otherwise fit and healthy, there is usually no need to see a doctor if you have flu-like symptoms. 

The best remedy is to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and relieve aches.

You should see a doctor if you have flu-like symptoms and you:

  • are aged 65 or over
  • are pregnant
  • have a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease or a neurological disease
  • have a weakened immune system

This is because flu can be more serious for you, and your doctor may want to prescribe antiviral medication.

Flu Vaccination

If you’re eligible for the flu vaccine, don’t put it off, get it now!

The flu vaccine is offered free of charge to people who are at risk of developing serious complications if they get flu, such as people with heart and kidney disease, asthma and diabetes, the over 65s and pregnant women.

This year children aged 2-4 are also being offered a free nasal flu vaccination. This is to protect them against flu and help to reduce its spread to those around them.

If you are eligible for the free vaccination contact your GP today and book your appointment.

There are a number of pharmacies in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw that will help deliver the seasonal flu vaccination programme to adults aged over 65 or adults at risk, including carers and pregnant women. A list of these can be found here: pharmacies in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw that will help deliver the seasonal flu vaccination programme.

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

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