Lizzy Dening

How to tell if you have Australian flu

Lizzy Dening
How to tell if you have Australian flu

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

  • Aching body

  • Feeling tired or exhausted

  • Dry, chesty cough

  • Sore throat - read our natural ways to cure a sore throat

  • Headache

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • 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.