Aussie flu spread may be peaking, Public Health England figures revealed last week.
But, doctors have warned that the “incredibly unpredictable” virus could come back quickly, and that people should still take precautions against the flu.
While the number of flu cases has started to level out, the number of patients coming down with the condition is still well above average, according to the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).
Washing your hands regularly and throwing away tissues quickly could help to prevent the virus from spreading, it said.
“Whilst influenza rates have levelled out for now, this means that there are still huge numbers of patients being seen in general practice with flu and other common winter conditions – and GPs and our teams are certainly feeling the pressure,” said RCGP’s Chair, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard.
“We continue to urge patients who are ill to think hard about whether they do need to see a GP – not just in terms of reducing pressures on the NHS, but to minimise the possibility of passing viruses, such as flu, to others.”
RCGP’s Research and Surveillance Centre’s Medical Director, Professor Simon de Lusignan, added: “We’re certainly not out of the woods yet this flu season as the influenza virus is incredibly unpredictable.
“It is quite possible that rates will rise again, although they may continue to level out or even decline.”
If anyone comes down with the flu, the best thing to do is to drink lots of fluids, said Stokes-Lampard.
Don’t mingle with other people – particularly the elderly, or at-risk patients – to prevent the virus from spreading further, it added.
Painkillers can help to ease some symptoms, including muscle aches and fevers.
To prevent infection in the first place, regularly wash your hands, she said.
Aussie flu symptoms are similar to normal flu, but they can last longer, and tend to be more severe.
Signs of infection include headaches, vomiting, diarrhoea, runny noses, sore throats and sneezing.
Aussie flu could also lead to pneumonia, experts have claimed.
The flu has could help to lower your risk of infection, according to Public Health England.