What is Influenza?

Most commonly referred to as flu, influenza is a viral disease that affects birds and mammals alike. The symptoms of the flu include fever, sore throat, coughing, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, wheezing, dizziness, tiredness, and gastrointestinal complications. Flu can sometimes lead to severe pneumonia and even death.


Who is at the risk of contracting the Flu?

Babies, pregnant women and people of an older age are at the highest risk of complications from the influenza virus. However, there are specific strains of flu that have significantly affected the younger population and adults. If you get in close contact with an infected person, the chances of getting infected are higher. One can use soap, disinfectants, and sunlight to kill the virus easily. Still, influenza is a seasonal epidemic with around more than 5 million annual cases worldwide. Every year, about half a million people die from the flu.

Is the virus fatal?

The virus quickly mutates and has resulted in pandemic incidents throughout history. The epidemic flu strain mutates every year, making it challenging for doctors and health officials to predict which type will affect the masses in any year. It is strongly advised to get vaccinated against the most likely endemic flu virus on an annual basis.

How to get the flu vaccination in Norbury, Croydon or Streatham Vale?

The influenza virus is recognised for its extreme resilience and can live on a contaminated solid or non-porous surface for two days maximum. After landing on the skin, the virus lives for about 5-7 minutes. If the body mucus protects the virus, it can easily survive for up to two weeks. During the flu season, if you handle things such as money, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water often.

Do I need a Flu vaccination before travelling?

  • If you are planning on travelling, it is essential to get the flu vaccine against the most prevalent strain of influenza for that season. You should get your immunisations a minimum of 2 weeks before you leave the UK to give them enough time to become effective.