Not to be confused with Bird Flu, at one point or another, most people have experienced cold and flu like symptoms and have put it down to influenza.
More common in the late Autumn and Winter months, flu/influenza is caused by a different type of virus than with the common cold and can, with certain sufferers cause death.
Symptoms of flu or Influenza includes coughing, fevers, headaches and accompanying joint aches. Flu will also leave sufferers at increased risks to develop pneumonia, which as you may know is quite often fatal.
Flu is airborne and is passed from person to person through particles in the air from coughing and sneezing. Every year the WHO (World Health Organisation) lists all the strains of flu/influenza present in the UK so that GP's and Doctors can be prepared. Vaccinations are prepared and made available in early October. This allows plenty of time for key workers and those who are most at risk to be jabbed in time.
Groups most at risk of catching the virus are aged over 65 or those with low immune system resistance. Additional high risk groups include :
- those with Diabetes
- people with Chronic kidney disease
- anyone suffering from heart disease
- those with chronic lung disease like bronchitis, asthma or emphysema
- people recovering from cancer, using steroids or those using immunosuppressant medications