The UK is currently experiencing the first flu epidemic for 7 years and GP’s and hospitals are overloaded with the additional workload. The influenza virus strain H3N2 seems to be particularly virulent. Most people do not need to see a doctor if they have influenza- rest, fluids and analgesics such as paracetamol should normally suffice.
People with the flu should avoid going to work as this will spread the infection. Some people are especially vulnerable -the elderly, young children, pregnant women and those will respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis and asthma.
We are seeing some patients in our private GP walk in clinics who have secondary infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia and some of these have been investigated with blood tests and chest x ray and treated with antibiotics, but in general terms antibiotics do not help in viral influenza. Antiviral medication such as oseltamivir may be helpful in the early stages of influenza infection. Samedaydoctor private doctor clinics are open up to 7 days per week and patients can walk in or call/email to book an appointment.