Influenza (flu)

Find out how we define and monitor cases of influenza, how you can get vaccinated, and where you can learn more about this disease.

About influenza

Influenza (the flu) is a highly contagious disease, usually prevented by vaccination and treated by managing symptoms. Spread by body fluids from infected people, symptoms include fever, body aches, a runny nose and sore throat. Flu can affect anyone but is especially serious for babies, young children, pregnant women, people with underlying medical conditions and older people. The flu is caused by the influenza virus. There are many different strains and they can change every year.

Disease type:
Vaccination available under NIP:
Notifiable disease:


Vaccination is the best protection against the flu and is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and older. In Australia, flu vaccines are given each year to protect against the most common strains of the virus. If you're eligible, you can get flu vaccines for free under the National Immunisation Program. See more information about when to get vaccinated.


Find out more about getting vaccinated against influenza.

Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

For information about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, see healthdirect's flu page.

Surveillance and reporting

Influenza is a nationally notifiable disease.

We monitor cases through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) and report through:

For more on influenza in Australia, you can:

Date last updated:

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