Welcome to Healthy Dudley. This is the new public health website.

How can I prevent flu and what to do if I get it?

How do I prevent it?
The Flu vaccine protects against the most common strains of the virus, which change each year, this is why you need to be vaccinated every year against flu as the flu virus can change from year to year.

It’s more effective to get the vaccine before the start of the flu season (flu season usually runs from December to March). Please contact your GP for further advice.

What do I do if I get it?
To help you get better quicker:

  • Rest and sleep
  • Keep warm
  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains (please speak to your pharmacist if you have any questions about medications)
  • To prevent dehydration drink plenty of water (your wee should be light yellow or clear)

Your community pharmacist can provide you with advice and recommend remedies for flu to help ease your symptoms and always speak to your pharmacist before giving medicines to children

GPs do not recommend antibiotics for flu as it does not help your symptoms, or make you recover quicker.

It is recommended that you should call 111 or see your GP in the following situations:

  • You’re worried about your baby or child’s symptoms
  • You’re 65 or over
  • You’re pregnant
  • You have a long-term medical condition – for example, diabetes or a heart, lung, kidney or neurological disease
  • You have a weakened immune system – for example, because of chemotherapy or HIV
  • Your symptoms don’t improve after 7 days
image of woman outside blowing nose on tissue


Can the flu vaccine give you the flu?
It is impossible to get flu from the having the flu vaccine because it doesn’t contain live viruses. A very small number of people experience side effects such as aching muscles, but this is simply the immune system responding to the vaccine.

I had the flu vaccine last year so I don’t need it this year.
FALSE you need to have a flu vaccine every year as the strains of flu that circulate change every year, so last year’s vaccine will not protect you this year.

I eat a healthy diet so that should protect me from getting flu?
Your diet could well be helping to boost your immune system, but eating well will not protect you from flu. The best way to protect yourself, your family and patients against flu is by getting the flu vaccine.

I’m pregnant so I shouldn’t have the Flu vaccine.
You should have the vaccine because there is no such thing as natural immunity to flu and flu can kill.

image of child holding tissue to nose outside

Flu can be a very unpleasant illness for children, with potentially serious complications, including bronchitis and pneumonia. To find out how you can keep your children safe from flu visit the Vaccinations in schools and college age children page.

Flu vaccination is available every year on the NHS to help protect adults at risk of flu and its complications. Visit the vaccination in adults page to find out how you can keep yourself safe from flu.

It’s known that flu can cause serious complications for you and your baby. You could both get ill. All pregnant women should have the flu vaccine to protect themselves and their babies. The flu vaccine can be given safely at any stage of pregnancy, from conception onwards. You can get the free flu jab from your GP, pharmacist or midwife. Take a look at vaccinations in pregnancy or the NHS how to stay well in winter page to find out how you can keep yourself and your unborn child safe from flu.