Flu is an infectious and common viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes.

It’s not the same as the common cold. Flu is caused by a different group of viruses.

Symptoms tend to be more severe and last longer.

You can 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”.

For most people, flu is an unpleasant illness, but it’s not serious. If you are otherwise healthy, you will usually recover from flu within a week

To prevent the spread of the flu virus, remember:

  • Always use a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Throw away the tissue afterwards
  • Kill the virus by washing your hands with soap and water