Skip links and keyboard navigation

Influenza (the flu)

View as PDFView as PDF       Send by email Send by email

Fact sheet - Health conditions directory.

Influenza or 'the flu' is a highly contagious disease caused by infection from influenza type A or B (or rarely C) virus. These viruses infect the upper airways and lungs. The flu is highly contagious and occurs year-round. Flu season in Queensland is typically from June to September, with the peak usually in August. Flu is not the same as a common cold, and can be a serious illness. For some people, such as the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, the flu can cause serious complications which require hospitalisation. It can sometimes lead to death. Flu is usually spread through infected people coughing and sneezing, which temporarily contaminates the surrounding air and surfaces with infected droplets. You can reduce the risk of infection by getting vaccinated every year and practising good hand and respiratory hygiene. Occasionally there have been worldwide outbreaks of flu, known as flu pandemics, which have occurred with the global spread of a new type of flu virus. Greater protection against influenza infection is observed in people who receive yearly influenza vaccination compared to those who did not receive any influenza vaccination.

COVID 19 and Influenza

There are currently no vaccines that protect against COVID 19.

Whilst influenza vaccine will not prevent coronavirus infection it can reduce the severity and spread of influenza, which may make a person more susceptible to other respiratory illnesses like coronavirus.

Public health management guidelines


Pathology laboratories

Notification resources

Enhanced surveillance for public health units

Queensland Health Medical Stockpile antiviral access

Resources for health professionals


  • The online version of the Australian Immunisation Handbook provides up to date clinical guidelines for health professionals on the safest and most effective use of vaccines in their practice. Always use the online version to ensure you have the most current information.

Related information

Epidemiological data and reports

Condition information

Search this database of all notifable conditions and find:

  • control guidelines
  • notification requirements
  • health alert information
  • Resources

Communicable diseases contacts

Ph: +61 7 3328 9724 / 9728
Fax: +61 7 3328 9782
Email: communicable diseases team
Find: local public health unit

Quick links

Last updated: 30/07/2020 2:58:52 PM