Aussie flu – the H3N2 strain of the influenza virus – is just one of the several strains circulating in the UK at the moment, and symptoms, described as more severe than normal flu, include an aching body, a dry chesty cough and a sudden fever.
The number of people dying from influenza in England and Wales has reached the highest level since a devastating flu epidemic hit the UK three years ago, and hundreds have been admitted to hospital
Symptoms, described as the same as normal flu but more severe, include an aching body and a sudden fever.
Perhaps one of the most annoying symptoms of any flu or cold is the cough, particularly at night – mucus can build up in your throat while you lay down which can trigger your body to cough.
But there are some things you can to relieve night time coughing so you can get a better night’s rest.
Dr Andrew Thornber, Now Healthcare Group Chief Medical Officer, has three tips for relieving a cough at night.
He said: “It can be difficult to sleep with a cough. There are a few things you can do to try and make it easier to get some rest.
“A non-caffeinated drink, such as herbal tea or hot water with honey can help.
“Try and sleep propped up or on an incline. Don’t have your room too humid, so turn down heating and maybe open a window.
“Keep a glass of water by your bedside to help if you have a coughing episode.”
Dr Sarah Jarvis has also recommended the best remedies to ease the fever and day time cough that comes with Aussie flu.
While there’s no cure – we can’t cure viruses – there are ways to shorten symptoms and make them less severe.
She said: “I recommend plenty of fluids, rest and ibuprofen or paracetamol, or a combination of the two.
“There is some evidence that hot drinks work – partly because they have a placebo effect, but they’ve also been found to have an effect on your saliva production and the moisturisation of the airwaves.
“Steam, hot showers, hydration and drinking more can also be good – being dehydrated can make you prone to complications.”
But when it comes to herbal supplements, Dr Jarvis says there is very limited evidence that these will help you get rid of it.
She added: “There is some evidence that vitamin D will help you get rid of cold and illnesses, possibly flu.
“There is some evidence that if you are an athlete taking a vitamin C supplement may reduce your risk of getting a cold. But for the vast majority of people we just recommend you get vitamin C through diet – so plenty of fruit and veg, fruit juice (one 150ml glass a day).”
Not sure whether you have Aussie flu? Look out for these nine tell-tale signs.