What is influenza?
Flu is an infectious and common viral illness caused by
influenza viruses that can infect the nose, throat and sometimes
What are the symptoms?
Although symptoms may be similar to those of the common
cold, they tend to be more severe and last longer. Flu
typically causes a sudden high temperature, cough, headache
and general aches and pains, tiredness, a sore throat and a
runny or stuffy nose. You can also lose your appetite and
feel nauseated. Flu symptoms can make you feel so exhausted and
unwell that you have to stay in bed and rest until you
How long will someone with 'flu be infectious to
People are most infectious soon after they develop symptoms.
They can continue to spread the virus, for example in coughs and
sneezes, for up to five days (seven days
in children). People are considered no longer infectious if
their symptoms have settled, or if still symptomatic and it has
been at least seven days from the onset of symptoms (10 days in
How can I catch it?
The virus is contagious and can spread between people.
Transmission is by:
Am I infectious if I don't have symptoms?
No. If you do not have symptoms of seasonal flu you are not
Preventing Transmission of Infection
Additional precautions in hospital
The flu vaccine
Vaccination is an important way of reducing the risk of catching
flu and flu vaccination more than two weeks earlier may reduce the
risk of becoming infected. The vaccine is available free on the NHS
For further information
Speak to the staff caring for you or your relative or contact
Further information about flu can be found at the NHS choices
Published 15 January 2018
'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after
and very impressed.'
Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital