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Flu

Flu will often get better on its own, but it can make some people seriously ill. It's important to get the flu vaccine if you're advised to.

Check if you have flu

Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include:

  • a sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
  • an aching body
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • a dry cough
  • a sore throat
  • a headache
  • difficulty sleeping
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea or tummy pain
  • feeling sick and being sick

The symptoms are similar for children, but they can also get pain in their ear and appear less active.
Telling the difference between cold and flu

Cold and flu symptoms are similar, but flu tends to be more severe.

Flu

Cold

Appears quickly within a few hours

Appears gradually

Affects more than just your nose and throat

Affects mainly your nose and throat

Makes you feel exhausted and too unwell to carry on as normal

Makes you feel unwell, but you're OK to carry on as normal (for example, go to work)

 

Could it be coronavirus?

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 coronavirus (COVID-19).
Get advice about coronavirus symptoms and what to do

 

How to treat flu yourself

To help you get better more quickly:

  • rest and sleep
  • keep warm
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains
  • drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (your pee should be light yellow or clear)

A pharmacist can help with flu

A pharmacist can give treatment advice and recommend flu remedies.
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.
Information:

Call your pharmacy or contact them online before going in person. You can get medicines delivered or ask someone to collect them.  Find a pharmacy here.

Further information

Easy read information

Booklets and Leaflets

 
Flu Vaccine