Will You be a ‘Flu Fighter?

We know it’s autumn when the weather turns cold and wet and doctors start urging us to be prepared for winter. This year is no different.

The annual drive to vaccinate the vulnerable against flu has commenced today. Are you planning on getting your flu jab and if not why not?

True ‘flu (influenza) as opposed to a cold, is a very unpleasant illness, especially for those that are vulnerable: the elderly, they very young, pregnant women and those with pre existing illnesses such as asthma and diabetes. It is extremely contagious. For these individuals the risk of developing complications such as pneumonia is significantly higher than those who are not so vulnerable. Those who are are front line health care workers are also at risk of both catching the disease and passing it on to others.

Each year many are admitted to hospital with the condition and it can take a while to fully recover. We forget that ‘flu can kill.

This year for the first time, four year olds are being offered the vaccine along with two and three year olds, as a means of combating the spread of the disease. If you’re worried about giving a child an injection, it is given as a nasal spray for young children.

The chief medical officer for Britain is urging all those who are offered the injection to visit their GP practice early in the season to ensure that they are fully protected as winter approaches.

For more information see:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29477961

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/who-should-have-flu-vaccine.aspx

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