Flu is an acute viral infection of the respiratory tract (nose, mouth, throat, bronchial tubes and lungs). It is a highly infectious illness which spreads rapidly.

Flu causes a sudden high temperature, headache and general aches and pains, tiredness and sore throat. You can also lose your appetite, feel nauseous and have a cough. Flu symptoms can make you feel so exhausted and unwell that you have to stay in bed and rest until you feel better.

You can read more about the symptoms of flu on the NHS website.

The flu virus is spread by coughs and sneezes, it is easy to infect anyone within a metre or so who breathes them in. Make sure you use tissues and wash your hands regularly.

Who needs a flu jab?

You should have a flu jab if you are:

  • aged between two and seven on 31 August 2016
  • a primary school-aged child in a former primary school pilot area
  • in a clinical risk group
  • pregnant
  • over 65
  • in a long-stay residential care home
  • a carer

If you’re eligible for the flu jab, don’t put it off, get it now

Did you know that those who catch the flu pass it on to an average of two people?

People who are healthy usually recover in two to seven days, but for some the disease can lead to serious health problems.

You can get a free flu vaccine if you are:

The vaccine will not give you flu - talk to you doctor, chemist or midwife for more information.

Getting your free flu jab at your local chemist

You can get a free flu jab at your local participating chemist if you are:

  • over 65 years
  • aged 18 – 65 years with a long term condition
  • pregnant
  • a carer

Anyone under 18 needs to get their free flu vaccination from their doctor.