Information for the public

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. Most people recover uneventfully after an unpleasant week or so, but a few will develop complications such as pneumonia.

How is it spread?

Influenza is easily spread and anyone can catch it. It is passed on by droplets when people cough and sneeze and touch infected surfaces.

What can you do?

  • Get the influenza vaccination from your nurse, doctor or pharmacist, even if you are fit and healthy.

  • Cover your cough when coughing or sneezing and then wash your hands.

  • Always use disposable tissues and stay at home when you are sick.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water and dry your hands with a clean dry towel or paper towel.

Free immunisation is available from early April for those most at risk of influenza complications, including everyone aged 65 and over, and adults and children with a certain chronic medical conditions. Free influenza immunisation is also available for pregnant women.

Or for more information contact your doctor or practice nurse, visit the IMAC website or phone 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863).





Last updated 12 April 2019.