Flu BrochureYou could come in contact with influenza at anytime.

Around one in four New Zealanders are infected with influenza each year. Many people won't feel sick at all, but can still pass it on to others.

Influenza can be anywhere.  Contact with the influenza virus is almost unavoidable, and while contact does not necessarily mean infection, it does mean that you are never far from the possibility of catching influenza.

Flu-Sticker-2015 You may be eligible to get a free flu vaccine. Find out by clicking here.

Influenza - or the flu - is a virus that spreads quickly from person to person. Symptoms include fever, chills, aches, runny nose, a cough and stomach upset.

Immunisation is  your best defence against influenza. Even fit and healthy people should consider getting the flu jab to protect themselves.

The influenza virus infects your nose, throat and lungs. The flu is normally worse than a cold.

In temperate climates such as New Zealand's, you're more likely to get the flu in winter. Some people get very sick - influenza causes deaths every year.

Symptoms of influenza come on suddenly and can include fever, chills, muscle aches, runny nose, cough and stomach upsets.

Older people, young children, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions are at a higher risk of developing serious complications from influenza, such as pneumonia. If you're at higher risk, it is important to see your doctor early, to find out if you need treatment.

The flu spreads quickly from person to person through touch and through the air.

While you're unwell, stay away from work or school. Look after yourself and your family - rest and fluids are especially important.

Influenza can be caused by different strains of the influenza virus. (Symptoms for different types of flu are the same.) The seasonal influenza vaccine is altered most years to cover the particular strains of the virus that are circulating each year. When a new (novel) strain of the flu virus emerges that infects many people in a very short time, it is called a 'flu pandemic'.

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Last updated: April 8, 2019