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Health officials are launching a campaign to encourage at-risk groups to get vaccinated.
A new website, called Winterwatch, is also being launched later this month which will provide the latest winter-related health data.
Many people who risk becoming seriously ill if they get the flu have not yet been vaccinated against it.
The number of pensioners who have received the vaccination has fallen from the same period last year.
Figures show that by the end of last week, 48.9% of patients aged 65 or older had the flu jab, but in the same week in 2011, 54.8% of pensioners had received it.
Flu usually develops more quickly than a cold, with distinguishing symptoms including;
- Sudden fever - a temperature of 38°C (100.4°F) or above.
- Dry, chesty cough.
- Aching muscles.
- Limb or joint pain.
- Diarrhoea or upset stomach.
- Sore throat.
- Runny or blocked nose.
- Loss of appetite.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- An average of 600 people die from flu-related complications in the UK each year, according to the NHS.
- The figure can rise to around 13,000 during a severe outbreak.
- Two in five (40%) of those surveyed said they did not want a sick day on their record.
- 20% were scared that they could lose their job if they took days off.
- Men were found to be likelier to contribute to a contagion.
- Over half of men (53%) said they would go to work with flu compared with 42% of women.
– Professor John Oxford, virologist at Queen Mary University of London
Employees are feeling confused about what to do when experiencing flu-like symptoms and under pressure to go to work like never before.
This could lead to faster spread of the flu virus in warm, enclosed environments full of people such as a typical office - which will ultimately cost business more and of course impact on the nation's health, which is why the flu vaccine is so important.
Workers are at risk of catching flu from colleagues who fear taking time off when they are ill, a new study has found.
One in three employees (32%) feel pressured to go into work even if they have the virus, despite 36% saying they fret about an impending outbreak of new flu strains, according to the research.
More than half (54%) of those who said they would still go into work claimed it was because bosses and co-workers would take them for shirkers.
The survey for The Co-Operative Pharmacy also found that 26% of workers are unsure about the difference between a cold and the flu.