Influenza (the Flu) is caused by different strains of the Flu viruses. It should not be confused with a bad cold; it is a serious disease with varying consequences. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, aching muscles, headache, cough and severe fatigue. It can range from feeling very unwell for a few weeks right throught to hospitalization and even death in extreme cases. It causes disruption to work, colleagues and personal life.
Not everyone who catches the Flu feels unwell. Studies have shown that 4 out of 5 people who catch the Flu have no symptoms. The danger of this is that they can spread it to others who may become very unwell. Adults with the Flu are infectious for up to 5 days, and children for up to 2 weeks. Hand washing is very important in reducing the spread of the Flu virus, as well as vaccination.