The Flu – Prevention & Treatment

As we leave another summer season behind us we are about to welcome a, not so welcome, season… The Flu Season. This article will attempt to help you prevent catching flu and also how to treat flu yourself if you do catch it.

What is Flu

The Flu, or Influenza, is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. It is most common during the winter or early spring (November to March).

Symptoms include:

  • A fever – temperature over 38C or above
  • Aching body
  • Feeling tired / exhausted
  • Dry, chesty cough
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea or stomach pain
  • Nausea and being sick

People can sometimes mistake cold and flu symptoms, but flu tends to be more severe. The main differences are:

The FluA Cold
Appears quickly within a few hoursAffects more than just your nose and throat
Appears graduallyAffects mainly your nose and throat
Makes you feel exhausted and too fatigued to carry on as normalMakes you feel unwell, but you are ok to carry on as normal (go to work etc)

How to Treat Flu

There is no easy way through it, you are just going to have to see it out – you can often treat the flu yourself without going to see a GP (which risks the spread further to others). You will usually feel better in around a week or so.

To help you get better, do the following:

  • Rest and sleep
  • Keep warm
  • Take paracetamol and ibuprofen
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
  • Flu remedies can help – be careful not to use remedies if you’re already taking paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets. Speak to a pharmacist before giving medicines to children

IMPORTANT: Arrange a telephone consultation with us if you have:

  • Prolonged high temperature
  • Not responding to paracetamol
  • Uncontrolled shivering
  • Fast heart rate and dizziness on standing
  • Not able to drink enough fluids to stay hydrated
  • or live alone and are too unwell to look after yourself

How to Avoid the Flu 

There are a few measures you can take to lower the risk of catching the Flu (and similar illnesses). Washing your hands regularly for example.

If you belong to an at-risk group you will qualify for a flu-jab, and this is the best way to prevent the flu. It is more effective against the flu before the flu season starts in winter.

Here at Dyfi Valley Health we have a dedicated flu clinic in early October and November to help you combat the flu.

The other great news for you is that you may be eligible for a free flu jab.

Speak to a member of staff, and book yourself an appointment (link when ready) on the flu jab clinic.

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