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Influenza is a potentially serious viral infection that’s much worse than a cold. Influenza comes on suddenly with a fever or chills, sore throat, dry cough, headaches, fatigue, body aches and pains.


  • Immunisation is the best protection from influenza, and the best way to prevent its spread.

  • Flu vaccine is still available and free for those with higher risk of serious illness (that is, everyone aged 65 years and over, pregnant women, and adults or children with certain long term or serious medical conditions) so call your GP or health centre to arrange an immunisation appointment.

Hand hygiene is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways of reducing the spread of colds, influenza and other winter illnesses.

  • wash hands thoroughly with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds;

  • dry hands with a clean, dry towel or paper towel for 20 seconds.

Keep your home warm and dry to stay healthy during the colder months

  • Stay warm and dry, and keep your home well ventilated and heated.


If you or your family members are unwell:

  • Help prevent the spread of colds, influenza and other winter illnesses to others – stay at home, and away from work or school until you are feeling better.

  • Practice good cough and sneeze etiquette.  This means covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or coughing or sneezing into your elbow.

  • Remember free health advice from a registered nurse is just a phone call away – phone Healthline on 0800 611 116.


For more information, see our webpages:


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