Influenza

As we approach the colder months, we often notice the onset of colds and flus.  It is important that children are kept at home if they are displaying signs of the flu.

Description

Influenza (‘the flu’) is a viral disease of the respiratory tract, characterised by fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and pains, a head cold and a mild sore throat. It can often cause a severe cough. The infected person usually recovers within 2–7 days.

How does it spread?

Influenza is very infectious. It can spread through the air by coughing and sneezing, as well as by hands, cups and other objects that have been in contact with an infected person’s mouth or nose.

Incubation period

The incubation period is usually 1–3 days.

Infectious period

In adults, the infectious period is probably from 1 day before the onset of symptoms to 3–5 days from the onset of symptoms. For young children, the infectious period is 7–10 days.

Exclusion period

People with influenza should stay at home until they are feeling well.