STOP THE SPREAD: Vaccination is the best way to avoid the flu.
STOP THE SPREAD: Vaccination is the best way to avoid the flu. James Gathany

FLU SEASON: Tips for avoiding infection

GETTING vaccinated is the most effective way to stop the spread of the flu this winter.

Some people can get vaccinated for free under the National Immunisation Program, but experts say everyone over six months of age should get the shot.

Everybody can help stop the spread of the flu, according to the Department of Health.

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water before and after contact with others and before handing food, or use alcohol-based hand wash; cover your nose and moth with a tissue or your elbow when you sneeze or cough and throw away tissues and wash your hands straight away; don't share cups, plates and cutlery; and stay home when you are sick.

Flu symptoms can include a fever, sore throat, dry cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, tiredness or extreme exhaustion. Elderly people may experience confusion, shortness of breath and the worsening of a chronic condition.

Things like sneezing and a runny nose or congestion are more commonly symptoms of a cold than the flu.

If you come down with the flu Queensland Health recommends bed rest, drinking plenty of water and taking over-the-counter medication to relieve symptoms.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, or are in a high-risk group and have a cough and/or a high fever (38 degrees or more) that is not improving, you should see your doctor or phone 13 43 25 84.