Are you ready for winter?
People with long-term health conditions are being urged to get their free flu jab.
Flu is a highly infectious illness that can lead to serious complications if you have an underlying, long-term health condition like COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, diabetes, heart, kidney or liver disease, a neurological condition, such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis (MS) or if you have a weakened immune system. Flu on top of health conditions like these can easily develop into something more serious and could land you in hospital.
Flu is serious and is different to the common cold. Symptoms include a high temperature, body aches and fatigue. Aside from having your flu vaccine, the best way to prevent the spread of flu is to practice good hand hygiene. Catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, executive board member for public health and wellbeing, said: “Flu can be a very nasty illness and we want to protect our communities as much as we can, particularly our more vulnerable residents. It’s really important that we take steps now to avoid the spread of flu over the winter months.
“I’d encourage anyone who has an underlying health condition to make getting their flu jab a top priority. It’s vital to protect yourself from flu and the more serious complications it can cause for your health. Even if your condition is well-managed you should visit your local pharmacist or GP and get it done. It’s really not worth putting yourself and your family at risk.”
People with long-term health conditions are eligible for a free flu jab through their pharmacist or GP. Pregnant women, people aged over 65, carers, frontline health and social care workers, children aged 2 and 3, as well as school children from reception class through to year 5 are also eligible for a free flu vaccination.
If you are eligible for the flu vaccine get it now – it’s free because you need it. Contact your local pharmacist, GP or midwife to the get the flu jab. Visit nhs.uk/staywell for more information.
If you think you have flu, stay home and rest until you feel better. Call NHS 111 for advice if you have an underlying health condition or feel really unwell.