Influenza is a potentially serious viral infection that’s much worse than a cold. Influenza comes on suddenly with a fever or chills, sore throat, dry cough, headaches, fatigue, body aches and pains.
What to look for
Influenza is easily spread and anyone can catch it. It is passed on by droplets when people cough and sneeze and touch infected surfaces.
Influenza can affect anyone, causing symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches and pains - and sometimes also vomiting. Most people recover uneventfully after an unpleasant week or so, but a few will develop complications such as pneumonia.
What can you do?
Get the influenza vaccination from your nurse or doctor, even if you are fit and healthy
Cover your cough when coughing or sneezing and then wash your hands
Always use disposable tissues and stay at home when you are sick
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water and dry your hands with a clean dry towel or paper towel
Free immunisation is available from March for those most at risk of influenza complications, including everyone aged 65 and over, and any adult or child with a chronic medical condition. Free influenza immunisation is also available for pregnant women.
Like many employers, the Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Boards offer free immunisation for all of their health workers.
Or for more information contact your doctor or practice nurse, visit the IMAC website or phone 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863).