Flu is a common viral illness, which can be unpleasant but will often clear up on its own within a week. However, in some people flu can be far more serious, and these people may need protection from the flu virus with the free seasonal vaccination. These pages contain information about who needs the flu vaccination, and well as symptoms, advice and treatments.
NHS: Seasonal Flu
Flu is an infectious and common viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. It's not the same as the common cold. Flu is caused by a different group of viruses. Symptoms tend to be more severe and last longer. Watch the video to learn about the different types of flu virus and the importance of the free seasonal vaccination.
NHS: The flu jab
Flu vaccination by injection, commonly known as the "flu jab" is available every year on the NHS to protect adults (and some children) at risk of flu and its complications. Flu can be unpleasant, but if you are otherwise healthy it will usually clear up on its own within a week. However, flu can be more severe in certain people, and its recommended that they have the flu jab every year to protect them.
Patient: Influenza and flu-like symptoms
Many viruses can cause a flu-like illness. There is usually a seasonal outbreak of influenza (flu) in the UK each winter. Flu-like illnesses typically cause a fever, aches and pains in muscles and joints, a cough and various other symptoms. Most people recover fully, but complications such as pneumonia can sometimes develop. Complications are sometimes serious.