Influenza, commonly called the "flu", is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. The virus is spread from person to person through droplets after an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through touching (for example when a person shakes hands with another)
Symptoms of influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, tiredness, and aches and pains. Most people with influenza get better within a week. Elderly people and people with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk of severe disease and complications.
Seasonal influenza affects 10-30% of the community each winter and outbreaks are common. In groups of people travelling together, for example on a bus trip, outbreaks of influenza can spread rapidly and be very disruptive.
You should NOT travel if you are unwell. This will allow you to rest and prevent the infection from spreading to the rest of the group. Check with your doctor if you are not sure.
Remember to wash your hands regularly with soap and running water for at least 10 seconds: after coughing or blowing your nose, after using the toilet, before eating and before and after touching other people. If water is not accessible, use the alcohol based hand rub to clean your hands. As alcohol based rubs are not effective for cleaning visibly dirty hands, hands should be washed with soap and running water at the first opportunity
If you become unwell with flu like symptoms while travelling:
If there is an outbreak of influenza in the travel group, and you are at high risk for complications from influenza (for example, if you are aged 65 years or older, have a weakened immune system, or have a chronic heart, lung or other medical conditions such as diabetes) you should consider leaving the group until the outbreak is over and seek medical advice in regards to taking preventive medication.
Where an outbreak of influenza is suspected, the group leader should:
People with influenza should avoid travelling on public transport, including airplanes, trains and buses. This is to protect other passengers from infection.
See the NSW Health Influenza fact sheet or call your local public health unit on 1300 066 055.