What to do when you've got the flu

By Emily Grenfell and Dr. Mobasher Butt

Flu can be easily treated by yourself, but escalate if you don’t stay hydrated, or if you get a flu-related complication. With flu, exhaustion and achy limbs can even make the effort of getting up to get a drink of water, too much. You can limit the amount you need to move by filling a jug of water and keeping it by your bed.

Flu related complications happen when your body’s immune system uses everything it has fighting the flu virus, leaving your body susceptible to nasty bacterial infections.

Pneumonia: the most dangerous flu related complication. This lung infection has symptoms that mimic the flu, but Pneumonia with flu can be deadly. In bad cases it causes fluid build up and reduces oxygen supply to the lungs and other tissues in the body.


You should seek emergency care when:

  • you have difficulty breathing
  • your fever continues despite using medications like paracetamol, which should bring your temperature down.
  • your skin colour appears bluish or grey.
  • you experience severe dehydration
  • you get pain, or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • you’re experiencing dizziness or confusion
  • you’ve begun to vomit
  • you’ve experienced any kind of seizure


If you are suffering with the flu you’re often advised against visiting your regular GP as you would then be exposing everyone in the waiting room to the virus. What you can do is book a babylon consultation and speak to a top GP face-to-face via video link. They will be able to assess your condition and provide the professional advice you need.