Symptoms/disease

Influenza

Influensa - engelska

Influenza is an illness caused by a virus. You may develop a high fever, as well as headache, body aches and a sore throat. Influenza is most common from December to April.

Influenza is also called seasonal flu.

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Symptoms

If you have influenza, you may experience any of the following:

  • You feel very sick and tired.
  • Your muscles ache.
  • You have a high fever and headache.
  • You have a sore throat.
  • You have a cough.

Children under the age of two often have stomach issues when they have influenza.

It is common to have a fever and be sick for a week. It is also common to feel tired for several weeks afterwards.

Some people become seriously ill

Some people become seriously ill from influenza.

You are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill if you are aged 65 or older, are pregnant, or have certain medical conditions.

Self-help tips

Here are some tips on what you can do to feel better:

  • Rest and take it easy. However, you do not have to lie down the whole time.
  • Drink more than usual.
  • Keep your head raised high when lying down.
  • Try nose drops or nasal spray if your nose is stuffy.
  • Drink cold or hot drinks if you have a sore throat. You can also try throat lozenges.

You can take medicine containing paracetamol if you have a high fever.

Children over six months old can take medicine containing paracetamol. If your child is less than six months old, you should ask a doctor first.

When and where should I seek treatment?

Most people do not need medical care. Influenza will go away on its own.

Contact a vårdcentral (healthcare centre) if any of the following applies:

  • You have a fever for four days or more.
  • You have a high fever that went down, but then back up again.
  • You have influenza symptoms and are at a greater risk of becoming seriously ill.

If the vårdcentral is closed, you can wait until it reopens.

If urgent care is needed

You need to contact a vårdcentral for urgent care if any of the following applies:

  • You suddenly become much sicker.
  • You have trouble breathing even when you are resting.

Some vårdcentral are open evenings and weekends.

If the vårdcentral is closed or cannot attend to you, you should seek care from an emergency department.

Call 1177 for advice

Call 1177 for help on what to do. If needed, they can tell you where to go for treatment. Your call will be answered by a nurse, who can speak Swedish and English. Help is sometimes available in other languages.

Call +46 771 11 77 00 if you are calling from a phone with a foreign number.

You can get vaccinated against influenza

There is a vaccine against influenza. It is free of charge if you are part of a group for which vaccination is recommended. 

Vaccination is recommended if any of the following applies:

  • you are at risk of becoming seriously ill from influenza.
  • you live with someone with a very compromised immune system.

The influenza vaccine needs to be taken every year.

You need to get vaccinated against influenza even if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Medicine to prevent the virus

There is a medicine that prevents the virus from making you very ill. People who are at risk of becoming seriously ill from influenza can be treated with this medicine.

How influenza is transmitted

Influenza can be transmitted when a person with the illness sneezes or coughs. Small droplets with the virus are formed. You can get infected if you get these droplets in your body. 

Influenza can also be transmitted when you touch a person who has the virus on them, for example by holding their hand. The virus can then get in your mouth or nose if you touch your face with your hands.

You can infect other people even if you do not feel sick yourself.

Influenza is more easily transmitted indoors.

How to reduce your risk of getting influenza

Here is how you can reduce the risk of getting influenza:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Keep your distance from people who are sick.
  • Get vaccinated against influenza.

Here is how you can reduce the risk of infecting others:

  • Stay home from work or school if you feel sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm.
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