The symptoms, diagnosis, management, surveillance and epidemiology of seasonal influenza (flu).
Influenza (flu) is a viral infection affecting the lungs and airways. The symptoms can appear very quickly and include:
Complications include bacterial pneumonia, and can be life threatening especially in:
It occurs most often in winter in the UK and peaks between January and March.
There are 2 types of influenza affecting people:
Influenza B usually causes a milder illness, and is most seen in children.
Information on the different strains of influenza virus can be found on our health protection archive website.
Seasonal influenza risk assessment for 2015 to 2016, for countries in the EU/EEA can be downloaded from the ECDC website
Vaccination of at risk groups and children can offer some protection against infection. The NHS plans each year for the demands of flu across England in its annual flu programme.
See Latest vaccine uptake guidance and the latest coverage for figures on seasonal flu vaccination rates.
Amantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir (Relenza) for the treatment of influenza National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) technology appraisal 168, February 2009.
Oseltamivir, amantadine (review) and zanamivir for the prophylaxis of influenza NICE technology appraisal 158, September 2008.
National and international partners work with PHE to track influenza’s spread and effect on health worldwide:
The Respiratory Virus Unit (RVU) provides laboratory services for respiratory infections including influenza. Further information and guidance is available on RVU services.
The winter health watch summarises findings from the surveillance systems that track reported flu, norovirus, and rotavirus levels, and syndromic surveillance findings through the winter season.
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