Contact Us
Simple, accurate health tests for the home and the workplace.

When Is Flu Season?


The flu is a common respiratory illness. You may have had it yourself or heard of the flu vaccine, but if you are wondering what the flu is, including signs and symptoms, as well as ways to avoid it this winter, we have all the information you need. In this blog, we delve into all the things you need to know about the flu and how to protect yourself this flu season.

  • What Is the Flu?
  • When Is Flu Season in the UK?
  • How to Protect Yourself This Flu Season?
  • Treatments for the Flu
  • Keep Safe This Flu Season With Home Health


What Is the Flu?

Flu is the more common name for Influenza, which is a contagious respiratory illness. The flu is caused by influenza viruses that affect the nose, throat, and potentially the lungs. Common symptoms of the flu include:

  • High temperature
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Headaches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

How is Influenza Spread?

The influenza virus spreads through droplets released into the air when a contagious person talks, coughs, or sneezes. The virus can also be spread by touching surfaces and objects that contain the virus and then touching your face.

What Is the Difference Between a Cold and the Flu?

The flu and the common cold are often mistaken for one another as they have similar symptoms. Both a cold and the flu are respiratory illnesses with symptoms of coughing, sneezing, and headaches. However, they differ both in their severity and the virus that causes them.

The flu is caused by the influenza virus, whereas a “cold” refers to illnesses caused by over 200 different viruses. Flu symptoms can be much more serious than cold symptoms. Severe flu symptoms include a fever, aching muscles, and in the worst cases, can lead to respiratory problems and even pneumonia.


When Is Flu Season in the UK?

It is often believed that flu season occurs only in the winter months; however, flu season actually spans from early October through to May. This is because of the influenza virus’ ability to survive in warmer temperatures.

The peak of flu season is generally between October and March, as these months are typically colder enabling the virus to travel more easily. During this time, more people meet indoors, which can also enable the virus to spread. Colder temperatures also mean the influenza virus can survive longer on contaminated surfaces.

Can You Get the Flu All Year?

It is possible to catch the flu in the summer months; however, it is uncommon. If you come into contact with someone who is contagious, it is still possible to catch the virus through any droplets that were expelled via coughs and sneezes.

It is less likely that you will contract the virus during the summer months as more people spend time outdoors and in the fresh air and being exposed to sunlight which also helps to boost immunity.


How to Protect Yourself This Flu Season?

There are many ways to protect yourself during this flu season. We have compiled a list of the best methods to help you avoid the flu in winter.

Get the Flu Vaccine

If you are able to, it is recommended you receive the flu vaccination before the beginning of the flu season, preferably before October. This gives the vaccine time to take effect and for the immune system to create antibodies to protect you from the virus.

The bacterial strains of the flu change every year, so you must get the flu vaccine annually, particularly if you are over 65 or immunosuppressed. A vaccine from you receive this year won’t be effective in helping you combat the flu the following year.

Practice Good Hygiene

Practicing good hygiene involves washing your hands frequently with antibacterial soap, particularly before eating. To help keep others protected, make sure to sneeze or cough into a tissue or into the crease of your elbow rather than your hands to minimise any spreading of bacteria.

You should also avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth without washing your hands first. This is to make sure that if you have touched any infected surfaces, you will be less likely to infect yourself.

Stay in Healthy Environments

By making sure you are in well-ventilated areas when socialising indoors, you can minimise the risk of contracting the flu. Likewise, keeping a distance from people who are displaying flu-like symptoms wherever possible also reduces the risk of catching the virus.

Eat Well

It may seem obvious, but by ensuring you are eating and drinking well, you can also reduce the chances of becoming severely ill with the flu. By eating a balanced and nutritious diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, you can support your immune system, meaning you are less likely to have severe flu symptoms.

Anti-inflammatory foods such as garlic can actually help clear sinuses and boost the immune system. This is a great food to consume if you have contracted the flu or a cold to help alleviate a stuffy nose.


Treatments for the Flu

Most people who contract the flu can generally treat themselves at home. You can support your body in fighting the virus by getting lots of rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking over-the-counter pain relief such as paracetamol or ibuprofen if needed. If your symptoms do not improve after one week, you must seek medical advice from your GP.


Keep Safe This Flu Season With Home Health

At Home Health, we can help you protect yourself from the flu and treat your flu symptoms. We offer a range of medicines to help you have a speedy recovery and get you feeling like yourself again. Anything from paracetamol, ibuprofen, and co-codamol, we are equipped with the products to get you back on your feet. If you need any advice, feel free to contact us, and one of our team will be happy to advise you.


Flu FAQs

How long does the flu last?

Symptoms of the flu usually go away between four to seven days. Some symptoms, such as a sore throat and tiredness, can last longer. If your symptoms do not improve after one week, be sure to seek medical advice.

How long is a person contagious with the flu?

A person can remain contagious from the day before they display symptoms to up to seven days after the symptoms are gone. This means practicing good hygiene is important as this will help to contain the spread of the virus even when you are still contagious.

How can I speed up my flu recovery?

The main ways to help recover from the flu are to get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and take any medication if needed. Eating healthy, nutrient-filled meals can also boost your immune system, allowing for a quicker recovery.


Related Articles


Sore Throats