• The flu isn’t like the common cold, it can hit quickly and last for a few weeks, meaning time off work or school and staying away from family and friends. For vulnerable Victorians, like children, the elderly and people with a chronic condition or weakened immune system, the flu can have serious and devastating outcomes.
    • Victoria experienced an unusually long and serious flu season in 2017, with more than 48,000 confirmed cases of influenza, record demand on hospitals and tragically a number of deaths.
    • The flu is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications, including pneumonia. The most common symptoms of the flu are the sudden appearance of a high fever (38°C or more), a dry cough, body aches (especially in the head, lower back and legs) and feeling extremely weak and tired (and not wanting to get out of bed).
    • Each year the flu affects thousands of Victorians and puts an enormous amount of pressure on our hospitals and health system. Over 3,500 avoidable deaths occur in Australia every year from complications of seasonal flu, including pneumonia.
    • The flu doesn’t discriminate and anyone can be affected, that’s why it is so important that everyone in the community protects themselves against the flu this season by getting their flu shot.
    • Symptoms of the flu hit very quickly and may last for weeks. A bout of the flu typically follows this pattern:
      • Days 1–3: Sudden appearance of fever, headache, muscle pain and weakness, dry cough, sore throat and sometimes a stuffy nose.
      • Day 4: Fever and muscle aches decrease. Hoarse, dry or sore throat, cough and possible mild chest discomfort become more noticeable. You may feel tired or flat.
      • Day 8: Symptoms usually improve. Cough and tiredness may last one to two weeks or more