Flu

You can often treat the flu without seeing a GP and should begin to feel better in about a week.

Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include:

The symptoms are similar for children, but they can also get pain in their ear and appear less active.

To help you get better more quickly:

A pharmacist can give treatment advice and recommend flu remedies.

Be careful not to use flu remedies if you're taking paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets as it's easy to take more than the recommended dose.

Antibiotics

GPs do not recommend antibiotics for flu because they will not relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.

How to avoid spreading the flu

Flu is very infectious and easily spread to other people. You're more likely to give it to others in the first 5 days.

Flu is spread by germs from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.

To reduce the risk of spreading flu:

The flu vaccine reduces the risk of catching flu, as well as spreading it to others.

It's more effective to get the vaccine before the start of the flu season (December to March).

Find out if you're eligible for the free NHS flu vaccine

Flu vaccination and side effects for adults

Flu vaccination and side effects for children