Flu for most people is an unpleasant but self-limiting illness, the main symptoms lasting up to about a week. Treatment is symptomatic and those affected are advised to stay at home, rest and drink plenty of fluids.
For people in certain 'high risk' groups, such as those with underlying respiratory, heart or renal disease or who are elderly, flu is a significant cause of serious illness and death.
Complications, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, are more common in the 'high risk groups' (those with underlying respiratory, heart or renal disease) especially if they are also elderly, and mortality is almost entirely in these groups.
Flu-like illness may be due to viruses other than flu. Even during a flu epidemic a proportion of so-called 'flu' is due to other viruses.
Our Practice has an annual flu immunisation programme.
At present, flu immunisation is recommended, and available under the NHS, for:
- those over 65 years of age
- diabetics on medication
- heart patients
- asthmatics (on regular steroid therapy) and other respiratory illnesses
- sickle cell
- chronic liver disease
- pregnant women
- children over the age of 6 months with a long term health condition
- healthy children aged 2 and 3 years old