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Most people will have had the flu at some point. Although it can be a very unpleasant experience, but most people recover. It spreads easily, but the effects of it can be prevented or limited by following a few easy tips. Although technically there are 3 main "types" of the flu. Two of them are rare and uncommon and none are the same, the only thing they really have in common is that they are all viral infections.

Seasonal Influenza- This is the most common flu to hit the human race. It generally hits in late the autumn months. Specific information about the seasonal flu is listed below.

Pandemic Influenza - This is when a new strand of influenza appears on a global scale. It generally means few people have an immunity to it and can spread quickly throughout the world. This is VERY rare and the government is prepared if and when this happens. For more information on this strand click here.

Avian Influenza - Believe it or not, the "bird flu" is generally not able to be passed to humans. It is rarethat a human has been infected. The media has used it to create panic on slow news days, but the threat is limited! Click here for more information.

What causes the flu?

Like the common cold, the flu is an upper respiratory viral infection. This, however, is where there similarities end. The flu is stronger, harder to combat and, unlike the cold, there is a treatment available.

What are the symptoms of the flu? (may have one or more of these symptoms)

  • fever
  • sweats
  • sore throat
  • sneezing
  • dry cough
  • achy muscles
  • headache
  • vomiting

How do you prevent the flu?

  • Stay away from people who have it! Unlike the cold, if you are around people with the flu, chances are you will get it!
  • Get a flu shot!
  • Wash your hands often, especially during flu season!

What are some options fortreatment?

The flu shot is the best choice for prevention & treatment. The flu shot doesn't guarantee that you will not get the flu, but it will lessen the chances, and should you get it, it will also lessen the severity. Because the flu is viral and each year there is a different strand of flu it is hard to do much else for it.

Drinking plenty of fluids and getting plenty of rest are also good!

When should you seek medical advice?

If you have major health problems, are over 65, younger than 3 or if symptoms fail to improve in 7 days, it is recommended that you seek advice from a doctor.