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Staying healthy over the flu season

At this time of year, it is important to try to stay healthy and minimise the risk of contracting the flu and other similar illnesses. This advice from the NHS tells you how you can do just that.


Flu symptoms can hit quite suddenly and severely. They usually include fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles. You can often get a cough and sore throat. Because flu is caused by a virus and not bacteria, antibiotics won't treat it. Symptoms can be more serious for certain people, such as:

  • people aged 65 or over
  • people who have a serious medical condition
  • pregnant women 

You can read more about flu online

Preventing the spread of flu

You can help stop yourself catching flu or spreading it to others with good hygiene measures. Always wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water, as well as:

  • regularly cleaning surfaces such as your computer keyboard, telephone and door handles to get rid of germs
  • using tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • putting used tissues in a bin as soon as possible.

You can also help stop the spread of flu by avoiding unnecessary contact with other people while you're infectious. You should stay off work or school until you're feeling better. 

Should you have the flu jab?

See your GP about the flu jab if you:

  • are 65 or over
  • have a serious heart complaint
  • have a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including asthma, bronchitis and emphysema
  • have a serious kidney disease
  • have diabetes
  • have lowered immunity due to disease or treatment such as steroid medication or cancer treatment
  • have had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • have a problem with your spleen or you have had your spleen removed
  • are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 or above)

Your GP may advise you to have a flu jab if you have serious liver disease or a neurological condition such as multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy or learning disability.

Read more about who should have the flu jab.

Register with a GP

It’s a good idea to register with a GP before you become unwell, as this will speed up the process for being assessed and receiving treatment. There is a free Student Health Service available on campus. Students living in QMUL accommodation at Mile End or Whitechapel, and students living in the borough of Tower Hamlets (E1, E2, E3 and E14) are encouraged to register with the Student Health Service (located in the Geography Building, Mile End campus. Students living in Dawson Hall at the Charterhouse Square campus or outside Tower Hamlets and who are eligible for free NHS treatment must register with a doctor close to where they live. A list of local doctors is available here.



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