If you're an older person or have a chronic health problem, now is the time to have your seasonal flu jab. Anyone aged 65 and over, care home resident, pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, heart or kidney disease is entitled to receive a free jab.
From this year, a nasal spray vaccine will also be available to children aged two to three years, as well as children aged two to 18 with long-term health conditions.
Many GP practices will invite people automatically, but if you think you need the flu jab, talk to your GP or practice nurse. Find out more about the flu vaccine.
Seasonal flu is a highly infectious illness caused by a flu virus. The virus infects your lungs and upper airways, causing a sudden high temperature and general aches and pains. It is vital you don't underestimate the effects of this virus as it is not the same as getting a cold and it can seriously affect your health.
In addition, you can protect yourself by practising good hand hygiene with the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ technique. This means carrying tissues, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, disposing of the tissue after one use, and cleaning hands as soon as possible with soap and water.
For advice on whether you should see your GP or look after yourself at home, check your symptoms on the NHS Choices website. However, if your enquiry is for a child under the age of 5, call your GP or dial 111 (available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year). 111 calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.