Local NHS wants you to keep your loved ones safe this winter - 01 October 2018

The NHS in Morecambe Bay is encouraging local people to keep their loved ones safe this winter by having their flu jab.

Without any knowledge of it happening, we can all give Influenza (flu) to our friends and family members. A Lancet study indicates up to 77 per cent of people with flu have no symptoms.

Flu is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses. It is an unpredictable virus that can cause mild illness in most people. Certain people are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These people are advised to have a flu vaccine each year.

For otherwise healthy people flu can be very unpleasant, however most people will recover from flu within a week or two.

The injected flu vaccine is offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk. This is to help protect them against catching flu and developing serious complications.

You should have the flu vaccine if you fall into any of the below categories:

  • If are 65 years of age or over  
  • If are pregnant
  • If you have certain medical conditions
  • If you are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility
  • If you receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill
  • If you are a frontline health and social care worker. It is your employer's responsibility to arrange and pay for this vaccine.

Dr Jim Hacking, Local GP in Morecambe Bay, said: “Although we are only just in autumn and winter seems far away, it is fast approaching so we are encouraging local people to have their flu jab in order to protect their loved ones and themselves.

“Whilst flu can be a very unpleasant viral illness, it can also be very serious - especially for vulnerable groups or those already ill in hospital and undergoing treatment.

“If you do catch flu, we would therefore advise that you stay at home, get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and use paracetamol or ibuprofen to control your temperature and treat aches and pains.”

Sue Smith, Executive Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive said, at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), added: “As a Trust, we have already starting vaccinating our frontline and support staff against flu and uptake so far has been very positive. No-one wants to feel unwell and we have a responsibility to ourselves, our loved ones and our patients to do what we can to stay fit and well in the winter months. Having the flu vaccination is just one of the ways we can do this.

“I’d like to remind all visitors, members of the public and staff that flu can spread rapidly in closed environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes as it is highly infectious. Any visitors, members of the public or UHMBT staff who may be feeling unwell, or may have been in contact with a person, with flu like symptoms in recent days, should stay away from our hospitals.

“If you do fall into one of the groups that are at greater risk, please take up the opportunity and have your free flu jab through your GP practice, local pharmacy or employer if you work in the NHS.”

For more information on flu, visit the NHS website at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Flu/Pages/Introduction.aspx

bettercaretogether@mbht.nhs.uk

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@BCTMorecambeBay

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