There has been Aussie flu, French flu and now Japanese flu - so what do you need to know to stay healthy and happy with all these germs flying around this winter?

The latest figures from Public Health England show the number of people admitted to intensive care with flu has risen by 65 per cent.

There has also been a 78 per cent increase in the GP consultation rate with flu-like illness, and a 50 per cent increase in the rate of hospital admissions for flu cases in the first week of the year.

There have been 48 flu-related deaths in England so far this winter. An 18-year-old woman has died of pneumonia in Scotland after suffering from a flu virus.

Do you have flu?

Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include:

A sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above

Aching body

Feeling tired or exhausted

Dry, chesty cough

Sore throat


Difficulty sleeping

Loss of appetite

Diarrhoea or tummy pain

Nausea and being sick

What are the different types of flu at the moment?

Aussie Flu - One strain of flu this year is H3N2 which has been named Aussie flu because it is the worst flu season that the country has experienced in 10 years. The symptoms are more severe than a normal flu and can cause pneumonia and other complications. You should start recovering from flu in about seven days, but if it lasts longer than it could be a sign of the more serious Aussie flu or the H3N2 subtype.

French flu - A subtype of influenza has already hospitalised over 12,000 people and the risk of it spreading to the UK is very high.

Japanese flu - Also known as Yamagata flu, this is particularly spread by children. It's said to be less serious than Aussie flu, with complications being less common, but it's more contagious.

How can I tell if it's flu or a cold?

Flu appears quickly within a few hours while colds are gradual. A cold affects mainly your nose and throat while flu affects you more. Flu makes you feel exhausted and too unwell to carry on as normal but with a cold you're OK to carry on as normal such as going to work.

How can you treat flu yourself?

To help you get better more quickly:

Rest and sleep

Keep warm

Take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains

Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (your pee should be light yellow or clear)

When should you see your GP?

See your doctor if:

Your symptoms don't improve after a week

You're worried about your child's symptoms

You're 65 or over

You're pregnant

You have a long-term medical condition – for example, diabetes or a heart, lung, kidney or neurological disease

You have a weakened immune system – for example, because of chemotherapy or HIV

When should you call 999 or go to A&E?

Act quickly if you:

Develop sudden chest pain

Have difficulty breathing

Start coughing up blood

Where can you get the flu jab?

You can get the flu jab from most pharmacies and even supermarkets. For example Boots, Lloyds, Asda and Sainsbury's. Ask your GP if you are concerned. If you are over 65, pregnant or have significant medical problems then you are eligible for a free flu jab. If not then you can pay around £12 for one.

How can I prevent getting the flu?

Wash your hands whenever you use the bathroom, use public transport or are around children.

Stay away from alcohol - Drinking can interfere with sleep which then makes you vulnerable to colds and flu.

Drink lots of tea - Hot drinks can clear your sinuses and staying hydrated is always a good way of making sure your body is fit to fight germs.

Clean gym equipment before using it - All those people sweating out those horrible germs then walking away from the machines, so make sure to give them a clean with the wipes provided.

Your desk can be the dirtiest place in the office so give it a sanitize every now and then.

Eat all the fruit and veg you can get your lovely little hands on, these are packed full of vitamins which will make your body happy and healthy.

Breathe - When you get overworked/overwhelmed or stressed your body reacts in a really big way and damages your reactions to fight illness. Take a few minutes every now and then to stop and think and breath.

Clean your make-up brushes - It seems that very few people clean their make-up brushes, but if you are using these once or twice a day you are literally painting your face with the germs from the day.

Sleep - Go to bed. Get a routine going. Get off the screen.