Winter wellbeing and flu

Influenza (known as flu) is a highly contagious viral infection. Flu can occur at any time throughout the year but is most common during the winter months. Flu is spread from person-to-person through coughs and sneezes. In some cases, it can cause life-threatening complications. What are the flu symptoms?

Influenza (known as flu) is a highly contagious viral infection. Flu can occur at any time throughout the year but is most common during the winter months.

Flu is spread from person-to-person through coughs and sneezes. In some cases, it can cause life-threatening complications.

What are the flu symptoms?

Everyone experiences different symptoms, but some of the most common include:

  • 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)

If you are sick, please remember to wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes and put any used tissues in the bin straight away.

Please visit your General Practitioner (GP) or one of our free Walk-In Centres if you have flu-like symptoms and require medical care.

If you have severe symptoms such as breathing difficulty or chest pain, call 000 immediately or go to your nearest Emergency Department.

Influenza (known as flu) is a highly contagious viral infection. Flu can occur at any time throughout the year but is most common during the winter months.

Flu is spread from person-to-person through coughs and sneezes. In some cases, it can cause life-threatening complications.

What are the flu symptoms?

Everyone experiences different symptoms, but some of the most common include:

  • 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)

If you are sick, please remember to wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes and put any used tissues in the bin straight away.

Please visit your General Practitioner (GP) or one of our free Walk-In Centres if you have flu-like symptoms and require medical care.

If you have severe symptoms such as breathing difficulty or chest pain, call 000 immediately or go to your nearest Emergency Department.

Get vaccinated

You can protect yourself and those around you from the flu by getting your yearly flu vaccine. The vaccine changes each year to cover the latest strains and we recommend it for everyone over the age of 6 months.

The flu vaccine is free for people in the ACT who have a higher risk of flu complications, including:

  • children aged 6 months to 5 years
  • pregnant women
  • people aged 65 years and older
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and older
  • people aged 6 months and older who have underlying medical conditions

The flu vaccine is available from your GP, pharmacies, ACT Health Early Childhood Immunisation Clinics, ACT Health Antenatal Clinics and some workplaces.

You can also visit our Immunisation section for further information.

Stay Healthy

Flu is highly contagious and can be life-threatening in some cases. It’s important to know what the symptoms are and how to stop it spreading to ensure everyone stays safe in winter.

How can I limit the spread of flu?

There are several things you can do to help stop spreading the flu if you become unwell, including:

  • stay away from childcare, school, work and other social activities until you are better
  • cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and put used tissues in the bin straight after use
  • use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser and wash your hands regularly with soap and water
  • seek medical advice from your GP

Please see our Have a Healthy Winter Poster for more information.

Get help

Please visit your GP or visit one of our free Walk-In Centres for medical advice.

If you have severe symptoms such as breathing difficulty or chest pain, call 000 immediately or go to your nearest Emergency Department.

Walk-In Centres

Walk-In Centres are free and provide treatment and health advice for one-off, minor injuries and illnesses. You don’t need to make an appointment.

Walk-In Centres are located in Tuggeranong and Belconnen and are open 7 days a week between 7:30am to 10pm.

Please see Walk-In Centre for more information.

GPs

Your GP provides the best continuity of care because they know your medical history and can refer you to additional healthcare professionals if needed.

GPs may also offer extended opening hours in the evenings and on weekends.

Please see Find a Health Service for more information.

Healthdirect

You can access health advice over the phone by calling Healthdirect on 1800 022 222 or using Healthdirect’s Online Symptom Checker.

This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

National Home Doctor Service

The National Home Doctor Service offers access to after-hours bulk-billing GPs by calling 137 425 (13 SICK).

 

Page last updated on: 27 Sep 2018