Influenza can be a serious illness

Influenza, commonly called the flu, can be a serious illness which can be fatal. Infection with the influenza virus may lead to a stay in hospital for any age group but particularly if you are elderly or have an ongoing medical condition. Influenza can make an existing medical condition, such as asthma or diabetes, a lot worse.

Influenza virus is different from a cold virus


Sudden onset of illness

Moderate to severe illness

Fever (usually high)

Headache (may be severe)

Dry cough, may become moist

Muscle aches


Bed rest necessary

Can suffer severe complications

(eg pneumonia) 


Mild illness

Mild fever

Mild headache

Sometimes a cough

Muscle aches are uncommon

Runny nose


  • Influenza isn't just a bad cold - it can be serious and can kill

  • Around 1.2 million kiwis get influenza immunisation yearly

  • Immunisation prepares your immune system to fight influenza

  • You cannot get influenza from the vaccine

  • Influenza immunisation is FREE for those most at risk

Why is it so important that pregnant women get immunised?

Pregnant women are more likely to get severe influenza illness than other people, and it can affect their unborn baby. The influenza vaccine has been proven to have an excellent safety record for both pregnant women and their unborn baby.

The protection from immunisation in pregnancy is also passed on to the unborn baby so they are born with some protection again influenza for the first few months of life. This protection comes naturally from antibodies that you have created as a result of immunisation. The vaccine itself does not directly immunise the baby.

More information:



If you would like to find out if you qualify for a free immunisation please email nurse@pukekohesouthdoctors.co.nz

©2019 by Pukekohe South Doctors.