Flu is a highly infectious and very common viral illness
that is spread by coughs and sneezes.
It's not the same as the common
cold. Flu is caused by a different group of viruses and
symptoms tend to be more severe and last for longer.
Flu causes a sudden high temperature, headache and
general aches and pains, tiredness and sore throat.
You can also lose your appetite, feel nauseous and
have a cough. Flu symptoms can also make you feel so exhausted
and unwell that you have to stay in bed and rest until
you feel better.
It is possible to catch flu – short for
influenza – all year round, but it is especially common in
winter, which is why it is also known as 'seasonal flu'.
Swine flu, also called H1N1 flu, is a
relatively new strain of flu and it was one of the main flu viruses
circulating in the winter of 2010 and was therefore included in the
It can be difficult to tell the difference
between seasonal flu and swine flu. They both have similar symptoms
(fever, cough, sore throat, aching muscles) and are caught and
spread in the same way.
For other information and weblinks to the NHS
‘Catch it bin it kill it’ campaign to reduce risks of flu and other
illnesses go to: