Influenza Tips

No one wants to get sick and there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself. Use our Influenza Tips as a guide throughout the season, even if you already have contracted influenza.


  • Stay home
  • Rest and keep warm
  • Consume plenty of fluids
  • Do not consume alcohol
  • Wash hands regularly
  • Cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid physical contact with others
  • Avoid mixing with other people, particularly those in a high-risk category, while contagious
  • Stop smoking or cut your consumption down as much as you can
  • Ensure someone checks on you and does your shopping
  • Don't return to work early; you could still be contagious.

NB: Antiviral medications can limit the effect of influenza if they are taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Influenza antivirals are only available by prescription from a doctor. It is important to see your GP immediately if you believe you’re suffering influenza and wish to reduce the duration of your illness.



Typical influenza symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Severe cough
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches or pain
  • Sore throat
  • Children's symptoms may also include nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea

Influenza symptoms can start to subside in as little as two to five days, but you're more likely to be out of commission for at least a week, and up to two weeks.


Protect yourself and others

Vaccination is the best form of protection against influenza. However, if you become infected, you should:

  • Clean your hands frequently using an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue, not your hand. Throw the tissue out right away and wash your hands. If you don't have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm
  • Don't share things that go in the mouth
  • Stay home if you are ill and do not return to work/other group activities until you are feeling well enough to take part again



People at an increased risk of complications from influenza:

  • Annual vaccination is recommended for anyone aged 6 months and over who wishes to reduce the risk of influenza and its complications.
    • Heart conditions
    • Severe Asthma
    • COPD and other lung conditions
    • Diabetes (type 1 and type 2)
    • Kidney problems
    • Impaired immunity such as HIV infection
    • Malignant cancers
    • Chronic neurological disorders
  • Pregnant women*
  • People over 65 years of age*
  • Indigenous Australians
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are also at increased risk of severe complications from influenza

*This group may qualify for a Free Vaccine under the Australian government’s National Immunisation Program.

We believe everybody should be protected by an annual influenza vaccination.

Pretty much everyone can benefit from the influenza vaccine. Remember, even if you’re fit and healthy you could pass the virus onto someone who is at risk of becoming very sick if they catch influenza.

If you care for children, older parents or any other at risk person then a influenza shot is highly recommended.



Complications from influenza can be nasty and include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Sinus and ear infections
  • Worsening of pre-existing respiratory conditions
  • Worsening of other problems such as diabetes

Prescription Medication

Prescription Medication

Antiviral influenza medication prescribed by your GP can be effective in treating Influenza. Influenza antivirals must be taken within 48 hours of noticing symptoms for them to work. The earlier influenza medications are taken the better - you won't feel instantly better but your recovery time will be shorter and you limit the chance of any secondary issues.

Analgesics might make you feel better but will not treat the influenza infection. You could still infect other people, stay home when you are unwell.

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