Jenny Harries says UK should be 'sensibly worried' about flu
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Flu is very infectious and easily spreads to other people. There are a number of signs to look out for, including one which can affect your sleep. Experts have warned there could be up to 60,000 deaths this flu season, as many people have not built their immunity throughout the pandemic.
The main symptoms of the flu can vary. They include a sudden high temperature of 38C or above, an aching body, a dry cough, a sore throat, and a headache.
Some people also report feeling tired or exhausted, and having difficulty sleeping.
Certain individuals also report a loss of appetite, diarrhoea or tummy pain, as well as feeling sick and being sick.
The NHS says symptoms are similar for children, but they can also get pain in their ear and appear less active.
If you have a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, it could be COVID-19.
You can get free coronavirus tests, and you should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result, though you can leave your home to have a test.
Flu is caused by a different group of viruses to a common cold, and symptoms of flu tend to be more severe and last longer.
The Mayo Clinic says that the main difference between cold and flu is that you are more likely to have a fever and chills with flu.
The NHS warns you should be careful not to use flu remedies if you’re taking paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets as it’s easy to take more than the recommended dose.
There are however a number of steps you can take.
The health body has laid out several steps to help you get better more quickly.
These include rest and sleep, keeping warm and drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration. It says that your pee should be light yellow or clear.
The flu vaccine is also being offered to those who are vulnerable to suffering more severely.
More people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you’ve had COVID-19, it’s safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu.
Some people may be eligible for both the flu and the COVID-19 booster vaccines.
Your GP surgery or pharmacy should be able to tell you when more appointments are available.
The NHS says: “The flu vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine. It’s offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications.
“The best time to have the flu vaccine is in the autumn before the flu starts spreading. But you can get the vaccine later.”
The flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS to anyone with a serious long-term health condition.
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