Staying healthy this winter

Flu is highly contagious and spread from person-to-person. Even healthy people get the flu.

Some people, including young children, older people, pregnant women and people with certain chronic conditions are at higher risk of serious complications from the flu, including death.

What is the flu?

Influenza (commonly known as the ‘flu’) is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. Cases of influenza are common throughout the year, but the number of cases increases significantly during the winter months.

What are symptoms of flu?

The most common symptoms of the flu are:

  • fever and chills
  • a cough, sore throat or runny nose
  • muscle aches, joint pains, headaches and fatigue (feeling tired)
  • nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea (more common in children than adults)

For more information about flu – see our Influenza Fact Sheet

How can I limit the spread of flu?

If you become unwell with flu-like symptoms there are several things you can do to help stop spreading the flu to others. These include:

  • staying away from childcare, school, work and other social activities until you are well
  • covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and putting used tissues in the bin straight after use
  • using an alcohol based hand sanitiser, and/or washing your hands regularly with soap and water, and
  • seeking medical advice from your GP.

Have a look at our Have a Healthy Winter poster.