Influenza is a serious disease, which causes widespread illness throughout the UK each winter. It is a viral infection that is seen in the winter months. The typical symptoms and signs of flu are a rapid onset illness with high fever (over 38 degrees C) a feature which may last for days. A painful and debilitating headache is usually present together with severe body aches and pains. Those affected are usually bedridden for days due to fatigue and weakness. Further symptoms can be sneezing, severe cough, sore throat and nausea. These symptoms can last for up to to 10 days. For several weeks after, a feeling of exhaustion and lack of energy will predominate. Complications include bronchitis and pneumonia.
Everyone is at risk, especially if you are tired or stressed, come into daily contact with a lot of people, have children who always seem to have a cold, or are generally less healthy than you could be.
Flu spreads by droplets in the air (by coughing or sneezing for example). The virus gains entry into your body through your nose, mouth and eyes. It is also spread by touch but to a lesser extent. Once inside the body, the virus multiplies rapidly to produce millions of virus particles.
* Please note that vaccine cost is the cost per dose to have the vaccine with a nurse and not a GP. There is an additional fee of £25 for the vaccine to be administered by a GP. Also, the number of doses required indicates the number of doses for a standard course. For instance, an accelerated course can impact the number of doses required.
No, the Vaccine does not contain any live virus. It is a medical impossibility to catch flu from the vaccine.