Winter is coming… and every year, you are at risk of contracting the flu virus, which can knock you out for days.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. These invade and infect the nose, throat, and, occasionally, the lungs. Some people experience mild flu symptoms that usually dissipate within a few days. But for many, an extreme flu can take over. The best way to avoid the flu and temper its effects is to get a flu vaccination every year.

The flu is not the same as a cold. Flu usually strikes suddenly, and when you have it, you may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may experience vomiting and diarrhoea

Let’s brush up on our flu facts.

1. The Flu is Worse Than a Cold

Many of us mistake theflu for a cold or other respiratory illness. However, the flu is usually far worse. It's a viral infection that spreads quickly. In most cases, the flu will clear up on its own. However, in some cases, the flu can be dangerous, leading to complications such as pneumonia or dehydration.

2. The Flu Shot is Your Best Defence 

The flu viruses are crafty and evolve each season, so each year's flu vaccine is designed to fight the most recent strain. Therefore, the immunity provided by a flu shot is only temporary, lasting about a year.

3. The Flu Shot Helps

Even if you get the flu after being immunised, the vaccine can make your symptoms less severe and help you get better quickly.

4. It’s Safe for Children to Get a Flu Shot

The flu vaccine is safe for children from six months and up and could even save a child's life. Vaccination is especially important for children under the age of five, as well as children who have a high-risk medical condition, because they’re more likely to develop serious flu complications. Adults 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with chronic conditions are also at high risk of flu complications.

5. You Can’t Get the Flu from a Flu Shot

Don’t believe this urban legend! Some swear that they’ve caught the flu after getting a flu shot. The flu shot can’t make you sick because it does not contain a live virus. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to start preventing flu, so if you get sick after getting vaccinated, chances are you had the flu before getting vaccinated.


This article is for informational purposes only. Always check with your doctor or medical practitioner about any health concerns, before embarking on any fitness or nutrition programme, and usage of any medication.