Should you need urgent health advice please contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency please visit A&E or call 999.
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Flu Overhanging boy

Having the flu can feel horrible! Flu is different to a cold, it makes you feel exhausted and not able to do the things you would normally.

You may have a high temperature, feel tired, achy and shivery and have a headache.

Sometimes you get a sore throat and a blocked or runny nose, and you might sneeze and cough a lot. You also might not feel like eating.

You can catch the flu at any time of the year, but it is more common in the autumn and winter seasons.

You may feel poorly for a few days, but should feel better after a week.

Flu is short for ‘influenza’. It is a virus that can spread very quickly. When a person who has flu coughs or sneezes, they are releasing millions of very tiny droplets in to the air. These fly everywhere and can spread to an area as big as a hula hoop – and we are not talking about the small round crisps!

Brain Borg
Did You Know?
Brain borg Flu viruses can live for up to two whole days on things like your toys, desk and walls. It can live up to half a day on clothes and tissues. This is why it is very important to wash your hands and bin any used tissues.

When you catch flu, your body starts producing antibodies – these are like personal ninjas that attack the virus!

When they are working well and defending your body, you start feeling better. The problem is that the viruses that cause flu can change over time. Find out how you can stop flu in its tracks.

What to do when you have flu

Being ill with the flu isn’t much fun, but there are some things you can do to help feel better:

  • Keep hydrated – Drink plenty of water, juice and soups. Avoid fizzy drinks
  • Get lots of rest and sleep
  • Ask your parent or carer for some medicine to help lower your temperature and help with the achiness

Should you go to school?

Flu spreads very easily. If you have flu, it is best that you stay at home and away from school, not only so that you can rest and recover but so you don’t give it to your school friends and teachers too.

Riddle me this!
What is 'flu' short for?
Quiz girl
Quiz girl
Quiz girl
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By getting plenty of rest, it is usually possible to treat flu at home. But if you start having trouble breathing or feel worse, tell your parent or carer as you might have to go to the doctor's.
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Page last reviewed: 10-11-2021

Next review due: 10-11-2024