Lots of us get flu, but few show symptoms. Let’s not spread it

17 March 2014


Influenza infection is very common – about one in five of us are infected each year. But, surprisingly, the majority of infections don’t cause any illness. In a study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, we found that in two recent outbreaks of seasonal flu and the H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009, about three quarters of people who were infected had no symptoms. And only 17% of people who were unwell enough to visit their doctor, says Dr Andrew Hayward (UCL Infection and Population Health) in The Conversation.