0501 GMT January 19, 2019
While people can catch flu all year round, it’s more common in the winter months.
There’s no definitive way to prevent getting flu, but making some lifestyle changes could help to lower your risk.
One of the best ways to avoid the deadly flu virus this winter is to frequently wash your hands, revealed ITV This Morning.
Maintaining good overall hygiene is one of the best ways to avoid flu infection, Dr Ranj Singh told Express.co.uk.
Always make sure you wash your hands after sneezing or coughing, he said.
If you think you’re coming down with a cold, always carry tissues with you, and sneeze into those tissues.
“There are lots of ways that you can prevent flu, and other infections as well,” said Ranj. “The big one being hygiene — general hygiene measures.
“That’s things like if you’re unwell, making sure that you wash your hands if you cough or sneeze into them.
“Use tissues and then throw those tissues away and wash your hands afterwards.
“Be careful around people that may be vulnerable — for example, the elderly, small children, pregnant people, those with long-term medical conditions.
“Another important measure is vaccination, and there are different types of vaccination in the UK on offer, depending mainly on age group.”
Adults tend to get the injectable flu vaccine, while children get offered a nasal spray.
Flu is very infectious, and it’s easily spread to other people.
You’re most likely to give the virus to someone else within the first five days of infection.
One of the misconceptions of flu is that it’s similar to a cold, added Ranj.
But, while the symptoms may overlap — especially in the earlier stages — there is an important difference.
Patients tend to get over a cold quite quickly, whereas flu can take up to seven days for recovery, he said.
Flu symptoms tend to come on very quickly, and may include a sudden fever or a dry, chesty cough.
A pharmacist can offer treatment advice for flu, and may recommend some remedies.