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Published By Elaine Parsons on January 31, 2019

Flu season is in full swing, so it’s important to know the signs, be informed and to get vaccinated if you are in one of the ‘at risk’ groups.

What is flu?

Seasonal flu (also known as influenza) is a highly infectious illness caused by the flu virus. The virus infects your lungs and upper airways, causing a sudden high temperature and general aches and pains. You may also lose your appetite, feel nauseous and have a dry cough. You may need to stay in bed until your symptoms get better.

The difference between a cold and the flu?

Flu symptoms

Flu symptoms come on suddenly with a fever, muscle aches, headache and fatigue. A cold usually starts gradually with a sore throat and a blocked or a runny nose. Symptoms of a cold are generally mild compared to flu.

Who should be vaccinated?

  • People in the ‘at risk’ groups should get the flu vaccine. The ‘at risk’ groups are people who:
    are 65 years of age and over
    are pregnant
    have a long-term health condition
    work in healthcare
    are a carer
    live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
    in regular contact with pigs, poultry or water fowl
    Don't get the flu vaccine if you have had a severe allergic (anaphylaxis) reaction to a previous dose or any part of the vaccine.

Vaccination should be re-scheduled if you have an acute illness with a temperature greater than 38°C.

For more information on the flu and vaccinations, please see https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/pubinfo/flu-vaccination/ 

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