More people have the flu

The number of people who have the flu has increased this month. Some areas have more cases of flu than other areas, especially the East Coast/ Gisborne area, Whanganui and South Canterbury. Some hospital Emergency Departments are very busy because of patients with flu-like symptoms – symptoms which are like the flu.

Flu is a virus and antibiotics do not cure a virus. Symptoms of the flu include a fever, chills, aching muscles, runny nose, a cough and tummy upsets. Usually the best treatment is bed rest, plenty of fluids and paracetamol to reduce the fever. People with the flu should stay home so that they do not spread the disease to class mates or work mates.

So far, 1.2 million New Zealanders have had a flu vaccination this year. It is free for people over the age of 65, for pregnant women, for people with other health problems and for children under 5 who have been in hospital with respiratory diseases.


• flu – short for influenza (’flu’)
• symptoms – signs of an illness
• -like – added to a noun to make an adjective e.g. child-like
• tummy upsets – nausea, diarrhoea
• fluids – water, lemon drinks etc
• paracetamol – Panadol is a trade name
• respiratory diseases – affect breathing e.g. asthma

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