How long does it last?
Uncomplicated influenza typically lasts about 3 to 7 days, however full recovery may take a little longer. Patients may complain of residual fatigue that could take a couple of weeks to resolve.
How serious is it?
Although symptoms may be mild, severe infections may result in complications and even death, particularly in high-risk populations.
What complications may follow this condition?
Complications of influenza may include febrile convulsions, meningitis, encephalitis, pericarditis, myocarditis, otitis media, croup, sinusitis, bronchitis, pharyngitis, pneumonia, myositis and increased complications of pregnancy. In other words, the major organs can be affected, and this can result in severe illness and even death in vulnerable individuals.
How often might you expect to get flu in a year?
Influenza does not typically affect a person more than once a year.
Who is at greatest risk of getting the flu?
During an epidemic influenza may affect all members of a community, but those at high risk of complications include elderly people, children under 6 months old and people with chronic conditions or immunosuppression.
How can you prevent getting the flu?
Vaccination is the most effective way of preventing influenza and its complications. The following precautions may minimise the risk of contracting a viral illness: washing hands, washing toys, using tissues, using your own glass or water-bottle, avoiding people with influenza and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.