Aussie flu: Should you be worried if you've got the symptoms and what's the recovery time?

Australian flu, a strain of flu known as H3N2, caused havoc in Australia over its winter.

Nicknamed ‘Aussie flu’, the symptoms are similar to those caused by normal flu, but are believed to be more severe. 

Around 170,000 cases of flu were recorded Down Under, including a number of deaths. 

But now experts say the flu strain has hit the UK, and flu has now been recorded in every postcode in Britain. 

The NHS outlines nine flu symptoms to watch out for: 

  • A sudden fever - a temperature of 38C or above 
  • Aching body 
  • Feeling tired or exhausted 
  • Dry, chesty cough
  • Sore throat
  • Headache 
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea or tummy pain
  • Nausea and being sick 

But should you be worried if you’ve got Aussie flu or if you’re yet to catch it? 

While Aussie flu has spread quickly across Europe, there’s no need to panic, says Medical Director for Bupa UK, Dr Steve Iley. 

Speaking to the Evening Standard he said: “There’s no need to panic and for the most of us - symptoms of flu should clear up in about a week. 

“People in high risk groups, including the elderly, children, those with chronic health conditions or weakened immune systems and pregnant women should take extra precautions and seek medical help if required.” 

Writing on the Bupa website, Dr Iley has also recommended how to protect yourself against Aussie flu: 

Get the flu jab

Dr Iley said: “Having the flu jab may give you some protection against the altered strain. It can also protect you against other strains of influenza A and B that are fought by the vaccine.” 

Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing 

He said: “The influenza virus is spread through tiny droplets that travel though the air when you, or someone else, coughs or sneezes. These tiny droplets can be breathes in or picked up when you touch surfaces that they’ve landed on. So covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, is really important. Try to use a tissue to cover your mouth and remember to dispose of it sadly in a nearby bin. 

Wash your hands 

He said: “As simple as it is, washing your hands is arguably the most effective way to prevent yourself from catching or spreading flu to others.” 

Avoid unnecessary contact

He said: “If you have flu, the good news is - for most os us - symptoms usually clear up in about a week. But during this time it’s best to try and avoid contact with people. If you have children with the flu, remember to be extra careful. Children are what we often refer to as ‘super spreaders’, meaning that they share germs more readily than others. So keep them at home and away from other children and relatives - especially grandparents who may be at greater risk.” 

The NHS has advice on how to treat flu and get better more quickly.