There's no easy fix...
If you do get wiped out by the flu, you unfortunately need to wait out the storm. That said, you can take steps to try to alleviate some of the symptoms.
"The simple advice is often the stuff that works the best, so it's staying hydrated, it's resting," says Dr Davies. "It's definitely taking time off work. You're doing yourself no favours by putting yourself through the mill. Not only that, but you're also going to be spreading that to other people."
If you're feeling sore and achy, anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen might be helpful, or a hot bath or shower could relieve some of your symptoms.
Paracetamol can help with a fever, but make sure you take it when you feel the illness coming on. "Don't wait for your temperature to get high, because it's so much harder to bring a high temperature down than to prevent yourself from getting a temperature in the first place," says Dr Davies.
But vaccination is key
There is one simple thing you can do to give yourself a better chance of avoiding the illness altogether: get the flu shot every year.
"Vaccination is definitely the most effective way of preventing yourself from getting the flu," says Dr Davies.
Everyone should get the flu vaccine every year - particularly those who are susceptible to the illness, like pregnant people, young kids, and the elderly. "It doesn't offer more than 12 months protection," says Dr Davies, "and they change the vaccine yearly depending on the strains they think will be prevalent in the country and around the world."
While contracting the flu might be inconvenient for you, it can be seriously dangerous for more vulnerable groups of people you come into contact with. "There are those out there that say it's not life or death, but it could be for some people," says Dr Davies.
So, if you haven't had your shot this year, is it too late to visit your GP? Absolutely not. "The peak flu season is generally August/September, so it's definitely not too late in the season to get a vaccine."
Other flu facts
- You can be contagious for much longer than you might assume. "The general thinking is that you could be contagious 24 to 48 hours before the onset of your symptoms, up until around seven days maximum after the onset of your worst symptoms," says Dr Davies.
- The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. "In terms of side effects of the flu vaccine, it can - at worst - give you a day or two of very mild cold-like symptoms, which might be a low-grade fever or slight aches and pains," says Dr Davies.
- Antibiotics won't be useful, as they only work on infection caused by bacteria - not viruses. "Antibiotics are going to do absolutely nothing for the flu," says Dr Davies. "Zero. Nothing at all."