Sussex residents are urged to get their flu jab as the winter influenza outbreak begins.
The local NHS said flu cases shot up by 85 per cent within the space of a week in England.
And the GP consultation rate in the South East for flu-like illnesses has risen from 10.3 per 100,000 to 14.2 in just one week.
Flu symptoms come on very quickly, with symptoms including fever, stuffy nose dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints and extreme tiredness, which can often last several days.
Flu can’t be treated with antibiotics as it is caused by viruses and antibiotics only work against bacteria.
The NHS said those who get the flu will get better more quickly if they:
- Get plenty of rest and sleep
- Make sure they keep warm
- Take paracetamol or ibuprofen
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
Katy Jackson, director of urgent care and systems resilience for Central Sussex and East Surrey Commissioning Alliance-South, said: “The best form of protection against flu is to get the vaccine, and to practice good respiratory and hand hygiene. It isn’t too late to get the flu vaccine so make sure you take up the offer if you’re eligible, to protect yourself and vulnerable people around you.
“We are advising those who already have flu-like symptoms to rest, drink plenty of water and take paracetamol where needed.”
In order to reduce the impact of flu on local NHS services, residents are being asked to make sure they use the right service for their medical needs, freeing up emergency care for those most in need.
For round the clock medical advice call the NHS on 111 or visit: www.nhs.uk
A pharmacist can also help with flu, offering treatment advice and recommend flu remedies, and give guidance on giving medicines to children.