Having the flu is more severe than having a common cold. The best protection against the flu is immunisation.
Influenza (flu) is different from—and more severe—than the common cold. The best protection against influenza is annual immunisation with influenza vaccine. Antibiotics do not work for flu or common colds.
Those who have chronic medical conditions such as:
- asthma (on preventative therapy)
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- immune deficiency disorders
and those who are 65 years or older, or pregnant, are eligible for free influenza vaccine, funded by Ministry of Health.
Caring for yourself and others
If you are unwell, stay at home and rest in a separate, well ventilated room away from other people.
It is important to drink small amounts of fluids often.
You can also:
- reduce fever by using a damp cloth on your forehead, washing the arms and body with a cool cloth, bathing in slightly warm water
- take appropriate medicines to relieve discomfort and fever if necessary. It is especially important to reduce fever if you are pregnant.
- gargle a glass of warm water and/or suck sugarless hard sweets or lozenges to help with sore throats
- shower or bathe regularly and keep bedding and nightwear clean and dry
- use skin balm or moisturiser to stop your lips from cracking.
Symptoms of meningitis can be mistaken for flu symptoms. Contact a doctor immediately if you or your child develop any of the following symptoms of meningitis:
- severe headache or neck pain
- eyes intolerant to light
- drowsy, floppy, less alert or difficult to wake
- skin rash
- high fever
- unusual or high pitched cry.