What is influenza (seasonal influenza)?
・Influenza is an acute respiratory infection caused by an influenza virus. There are many cases every year in Japan during the winter.
・When infected with an influenza virus, people may experience a range of symptoms, including a sudden fever, cough, headache, fatigue, etc. Most people recover in a week or two, but some develop more serious symptoms, including complications such as inflammation of the middle ear, pneumonia, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), etc. Influenza can cause after-effects in some people, and at times can lead to death.
・Infants, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weak immune systems are at particular risk of developing severe symptoms from influenza, which is why it is important for people who fall under such categories as these to take steps to avoid catching the flu.
Steps you can take to avoid getting the flu (tips for not catching the flu)
Do not catch the flu!
・Wash your hands thoroughly with soap.*
・Avoid crowded places.
・Boost your immune system by making sure to get enough sleep and eat a balanced diet.
・Get a flu shot.
*Your hands come into contact with various surfaces throughout the day. Because of this, viruses can transfer to your hands without you even knowing it. It is especially important to wash your hands with soap when you return home from outside, before and after cooking, and before meals.
Do not spread the flu!
・Observe cough etiquette.*
・If you feel sick, stay at home and get plenty of rest.
・If you develop symptoms, rest at home for about a week, avoiding contact with people.
*Cough etiquette refers to covering your mouth and nose with a mask or handkerchief to avoid infecting others through droplets emitted when you cough or sneeze.
Do not let your flu symptoms get worse!
・If you experience any symptoms that are different than usual, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
・Those with preexisting conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease should consult with their regular doctor as soon as possible.
・If your condition shows signs of worsening, seek medical attention straight away.
*Difficulty breathing, rapid breathing, persistent fever, headache. Symptoms such as a fever or cough that has improved once, but then worsens again. Slow to respond, even when spoken to. In a state of clouded consciousness.
If you come down with influenza (tips on how to get better)
・Make sure to take the medicine the doctor prescribed to you, even if your symptoms improve.
・Keep a daily record of your body temperature and symptoms, and seek medical attention straight away if your condition shows signs of worsening.
・Make sure to drink plenty of water, get adequate nutrients, get plenty of sleep, and air out your room regularly.
・Observe cough etiquette and get plenty of rest.
・If you are looking after someone with the flu, make sure to wear a mask and wash your hands properly.
Where to inquire
|Influenza (seasonal influenza)||Health Safety Division, Health and Social Welfare Bureau (*Inquiries in Japanese only)|