Ways to Avoid Spreading Flu

(Published on 08/11/2018)

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 in closed communities and even people with mild or no symptoms can infect others. The symptoms of flu are a fever, chills, headache, aching muscles and joint pain and fatigue. For most healthy people, flu symptoms can make you feel so exhausted and unwell that you have to stay in bed and rest until you get better.

Flu is caught through droplets of saliva that spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can then be breathed in by other people or they can be picked up by touching surfaces where the droplets have landed. Aside from having your flu vaccine, the best way to prevent the spread of flu is to practice good hand hygiene. Catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw the tissue away and wash your hands.

The impact of flu:

  • Last winter 9,996 people were hospitalised because of flu in a network of 25 trusts in England. 
  • 3,175 people were admitted to Intensive Care Unit/ a High Dependency Unit as a result of flu in 2017/18 across the UK during the flu season, of whom 320 died.
  • There were an estimated 15,969 deaths from flu in 2017/18. This is a 9% decrease in flu related deaths between 2016/17 and 2017/18.

The best way to prevent the spread of flu is still to get vaccinated against it. You can find out more about all of the vaccination options at the link below.