As Christmas approaches, people are being reminded to get vaccinated against influenza.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of patients see their GP and tens of thousands are hospitalised because of flu.
While symptoms are generally unpleasant, flu can lead to more serious complications like middle ear infections in children and pneumonia or bronchitis for those with underlying health conditions. In some cases it can be fatal.
Flu vaccinations are available now. They are free to people in certain “at risk” groups, including adults aged 65 and over, people with long term health conditions, children aged between two and seven, carers and pregnant women. Anyone who isn’t eligible for the free vaccination can still get it for a small charge from most high street chemists and some supermarkets.
Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "It is estimated that several million people get flu each winter and it can be particularly dangerous for those with long-term health conditions, so it’s very important that people, particularly those in at-risk groups, have their vaccination.
“If anyone is unsure if they are eligible, they should speak to their GP or pharmacist to check.”
Local patients who are eligible for their flu vaccination have taken part in a video campaign to explain why others should have it. They can be found on the Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group YouTube channel at http://bit.ly/2gZmyOG.
People can help stop the spread of flu by:
- washing their hands frequently with soap and water
- cleaning surfaces such as computer keyboards, phones and door handles
- using tissues to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze.
To find out more about staying well this winter, please visit www.nhs.uk/staywell.