(Composite: Mark Hall / JPIMedia)(Composite: Mark Hall / JPIMedia)
(Composite: Mark Hall / JPIMedia)

Flu symptoms: 9 signs that indicate you have flu - and how infection differs to Covid

Flu and Covid are both prevalent in the winter months and can cause severe illness in some cases

Flu hospital admissions in England have overtaken those for people with Covid-19 in a sign that the viral infection is becoming more prevalent, new figures show.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the rate of flu hospital admissions stood at 6.8 per 100,000 people in the week to 11 December, compared to 6.6 per 100,000 for Covid.

Both levels are currently rising, but flu admission rates have jumped sharply week-on-week - gnarly doubling from 3.9 per 100,000 - and are now higher than Covid admissions for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Hospital admissions of people with flu are now running at a higher rate than in any week during the previous four winters, according to the UKHSA, while Covid admissions are climbing more slowly.

Both flu and Covid circulate more widely in the winter months and officials at the UKHSA have warned there will be lower levels of natural immunity to flu this year after a few winters when people socialised far less due to the pandemic.

The rising hospital rates has sparked renewed calls for people to get vaccinated against flu - as well as Covid - to help protect against a spike in infections this winter.

Coronavirus can be spread more easily and tends to cause more serious illness, but flu shares many of the same symptoms, making it difficult to tell the two apart. Flu symptoms tend to come on very quickly and will usually get better on its own after plenty of rest, whereas Covid can take longer to develop and people who are infected also tend to be contagious for longer.

If you are not sure what symptoms of flu to look for, or how to tell them apart from Covid, these are the main signs to be aware of.

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