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Flu can kill

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Flu can kill

Posted on Wednesday 3rd October 2012

Flu can kill, vulnerable people must protect themselves

Vulnerable people in Cumbria are being urged to plan to protect themselves against flu and associated winter health problems this year.

As the colder weather approaches NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group is again reminding vulnerable people of the dangers of not protecting themselves from flu by having the vaccine this winter.

Every year people across Cumbria and the rest of the country get seriously ill and sometimes die from complications caused by the flu virus.

Typically these people are older or already ill with another health condition such as coronary heart disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which is why they are offered the flu vaccine every year.

The best way that vulnerable people can protect themselves against flu, is by getting the annual flu vaccine.

Every year at-risk groups across Cumbria are reminded not to forget to get their normal seasonal flu jab. People who qualify for the flu vaccine should now start getting in touch with their GP surgery to arrange to get the flu vaccine.

For most healthy people flu is an illness from which they will fully recover by staying at home and getting plenty of rest and fluids.

Older people, those with chronic illnesses or long-term conditions and pregnant women, are much more vulnerable to flu as they are at greater risk of developing complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia. This is why these vulnerable groups are invited to get the flu vaccine every year.

The first round of flu vaccination clinics are now starting to run across Cumbria and health professionals are keen that eligible people are aware that they should contact their GP Surgery to book an appointment to protect themselves.

Everyone aged over 65 qualifies for a flu jab as well anyone aged over six months in the following at risk clinical groups:

  • People with a heart problem
  • People with a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis and emphysema
  • People with kidney disease
  • People with lowered immunity due to disease of treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment)
  • People with a liver disease
  • People that have had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • People with diabetes
  • People with a neurologic condition such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy
  • People that have a problem with their spleen or who have had their spleen removed
  • Pregnant women

Carers are also eligible for the seasonal flu vaccination so that they stay healthy to continue to help those they look after.

Dr Nigel Calvert is NHS Cumbria’s Associate Director of Public Health. He said: “If you're over 65 or if you suffer from a chronic illness or long-term condition then developing flu can be very nasty and may lead to complications such as pneumonia which can put your life at risk. Every year different strains of flu circulate in the community and the seasonal flu vaccine is specially developed to protect against these.

"Last year was a particularly bad winter and there was lots of flu around, so it’s important that everyone is prepared this year and gets the vaccine as soon as possible.

“So the best advice is, if you fall into one of these categories, call your GP Practice which will begin running its vaccination clinics very soon and make an appointment to get your seasonal flu injection as it’s the best way to protect yourself.”

Posted on Wednesday 3rd October 2012


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