Winter is a beautiful time of year but can also trigger common winter illnesses.
Influenza is an acute viral infection of the respiratory tract. It is highly contagious and characterised by sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, muscle pains and tiredness, plus a dry cough, sore throat and congestion. Colds have similar symptoms, but caused by a different virus, and usually less severe. Recovery is usually 2- 7 days. Flu may be complicated by developing more severe infections such as bronchitis or secondary bacterial pneumonia.
The virus is spread by tiny droplets that come out of the nose or mouth when someone coughs or sneezes. If someone breathes in the droplets or touches surfaces that the droplets have landed on and then touch their nose or mouth, they can become infected.