Flu is caused by influenza viruses, which have a remarkable ability to change their properties over time in order to evade our immune defences. Flu occurs in seasonal epidemics every winter, and less frequently, in more serious global epidemics (pandemics) – as new strains appear and when the number of people susceptible to them becomes large enough.
Flu can be a mild illness, which sometimes leads people to assume it is not very important; but it can also cause severe complications and even death.
Vaccine programmes tend to target those most likely to suffer serious ill health as a result. But increasing numbers of people opt for vaccination not just to avoid complications, but also as a way of protecting their productivity and good health, rather than leaving the prospect of an unpleasant, debilitating infection purely to chance.
Flu is fascinating subject, and at the Fleet Street Clinic, we have been involved in many different aspects for two decades:
Follow the links at the right of this page to find out more about seasonal, avian and swine (H1N1) flu.
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