Cold

Winter flu (often referred to as seasonal flu) occurs around the same time of year here in the UK. Most people that catch winter flu usually recover within a week or two, but if you are prone to develop complications from flu (as with the elderly for example) you should have the flu jab in the autumn. You can get this from your local GP, or if you live and/or work in London, and it is more convenient to do so, you get it from the private, walk-in services of Broadgate Clinic London Wall.

Flu viruses

Flu, or to give it its full name, influenza, (this includes winter flu) is caused by flu viruses. There are three types:

  • Influenza A
  • Influenza B
  • Influenza C

Most of the cases of winter flu are caused by viruses A and B.

The symptoms of winter flu

The flu virus attacks the soft moist membranes of the body, particular the linings of the nose, the throat, the sinuses and the lungs. Symptoms include:

  • Aching muscles and joints
  • Blocked and/or runny nose
  • Bouts of chills
  • Coughing
  • Eye discomfort, especially when in bright light
  • Feelings of exhaustion
  • Headache
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat

People that catch flu are often prone to diarrhoea and vomiting.

It normally takes between one and three days for flu symptoms to materialise from the time you are first infected by the virus, and although it varies from person to person, these symptoms can last for anywhere from one to three weeks. Symptoms are at usually at their worst for one to two days.

Treating flu symptoms

If you have developed flu and you do not have a weak or compromised immune system, you should recover naturally in 7 to 10 days. There is no cure other than to let your immune system deal with it but you can get antibiotic medication to help with some of the symptoms.

Anti-viral medicines may be prescribed if the doctor believes you might develop complications. These medications cannot kill the virus but they can interfere with the way it multiplies.

The most common complication is a chest infection which can in some cases (particularly with the elderly) develop into pneumonia. This can be life threatening. Every year a small number of people (usually elderly) die from complications associated with winter flu.

Flu symptom antibiotics and anti-flu jabs from Broadgate Clinic London Wall

If you want antibiotics to help with winter flu symptoms, or you need the anti-flu jab and you live and/or work in London, you can make use of the private walk-in service we offer to visit Broadgate Clinic London Wall without making a prior appointment. Our opening hours are:

Monday to Thursday             08:00 to 18:30

Friday                                       08:00 to 17:30

Should you wish to phone ahead to make a same-day (or later) appointment, the number to call is 020 7638 4330.