If you’re ill, you might be concerned about the many reports of a deadly strain of flu that’s come over from Australia - but how can you tell if it's Australian flu you're suffering from? The NHS have released nine signs that might mean you’re suffering from the virus.
Australian flu in the UK
There have been more than 1,600 cases reported in the UK over winter and the NHS has been battling one of the worst flu seasons in 50 years, although it affected around 170,000 people in Australia. Flu deaths have risen by 77 per cent over the past week according to government figures. More than 85 people are reported to have died from the flu so far this winter, and its status has been raised from ‘normal’ seasonal activity to ‘moderate’.
Health authorities are urging elderly people, pregnant women and children to get vaccinated against the H3N2 stain, which has arrived here after hundreds of people in Australia have died from it.
Symptoms of Australian flu
The NHS say these are the nine symptoms to look for:
A sudden fever
Feeling tired or exhausted
Dry, chesty cough
Sore throat - read our natural ways to cure a sore throat
Loss of appetite
Diarrhoea or tummy pain
- Nausea or being sick
How to treat Australian flu
- Rest and sleep
- Keep warm
- Take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains
- Drink plenty of water to avoid getting dehydrated
- If symptoms get worse, seek medical advice
How long does flu last?
It usually takes a week or two to clear up, but you can seek advice from a pharmacist if it doesn’t seem to be shifting. You’re encouraged not to call 999 unless you develop sudden chest pain, have trouble breathing or are coughing blood.
Should I go to the doctor for flu?
GPs won’t prescribe you antibiotics for flu as they won’t help, but you should see your doctor if your symptoms haven’t improved in seven days, or you are over-65 or have a long-term medical condition or weakened immune system.