Getting the flu sucks.  Most people think you’re just moaning about having a cold but in reality, you feel like you’re on deaths door! Flu (or influenza to give it its proper name) can be caught throughout the year, not just in the winter, so listen up. Here’s everything you need to know about the flu and what to do if it pays you a visit.

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Is the flu the same as a cold?

Nope! The flu is not the same as the common cold, it’s more severe (so it does warrant a little more sympathy!) The flu is caused by a different group of viruses and the symptoms tend to come on a lot stronger and a lot quicker.

How do you get flu?

You never leave the house without your trusty bottle of anti-bac gel, so how did you catch the flu? We’re sorry to say that even people who actively avoid germy areas (London underground, we’re looking at you) can unfortunately still catch the flu. Sad times. Here’s why…

  • When an infected person sneezes, coughs or blows their nose in public they release tiny droplets containing the virus into the air ready to latch onto someone else.
  • Viruses can live on objects for up to 2 days, so if you’ve touched an infected item – such as a toy, an unwashed glass or a door handle - then touch your face, you can contract the virus.
  • People with the flu can pass it on a day before even their symptoms start. How unfair is that? You won’t even see it coming!

What are the main symptoms?

Flu symptoms can come on very quickly and you may feel any or a combination of the following:

  • A sudden fever at 38 degrees or above
  • Your body will ache
  • Being tired doesn’t come close… you feel exhausted
  • Your throat could be sore
  • A pounding headache
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tummy pain
  • Nausea and being sick

 

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Help! How do I get rid of flu?

It could take around a week to feel better after you first contract the flu virus but there’s a few ways in which you can try and speed up the healing process:

  • Rest and sleep (Netflix to the rescue!)
  • Keep warm
  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and to treat aches and pains
  • Keep your fluids topped up by drinking plenty of water and to prevent yourself from becoming dehydrated

How to stop the flu from spreading

The flu is very infectious and can be easily spread, sometimes without you even realising.  To reduce the risk of spreading the virus you can:

  • Wash your hands regularly with warm water and soap
  • Sneeze and cough into a tissue
  • Bin used tissues as soon as possible

Superdrug Flu Jab

During the height of flu season, September to March, you can get the flu jab from your local Superdrug pharmacy or selected Health Promotion Clincs. The jab is developed to protect you against current common strains of the flu. If you’ve been unlucky and have caught the flu, help speed up your recovery with Superdrug’s range of cold & flu medication below.