PEOPLE WITH LONG TERM HEALTH CONDITIONS URGED TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM FLU

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The NHS in the South East is reminding people with long term conditions that this year it’s more important than ever for them to have their free flu vaccination.

Research shows that if people get flu and coronavirus at the same time, they are more likely to be seriously ill or be admitted to hospital.

Catching flu is more serious for those with a long-term health condition. It can make the effects of their existing condition worse and can cause serious complications. Long term health conditions which can cause issues alongside flu include diabetes, a long term respiratory, heart, kidney, liver or neurological condition, a weakened immune system and obesity.

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An average of 11,000 deaths occur annually due to flu-related complications. Of these deaths, many were in people with underlying conditions.

Flu is a highly infectious illness which spreads rapidly, even people with mild or no symptoms can infect others. If someone has a long-term condition, they’re more vulnerable to the effects and could suffer more than most people if they catch it.

People with chronic heart disease are approximately 11 times more likely to die if they catch flu than individuals who have no other underlying health condition.

Dr. Raj Thakkar, Long Term Condition Lead for Hampshire and Thames Valley Strategic Clinical Network at NHS England and NHS Improvement, said:

“If you have a long-term health condition it is really important you have your free flu vaccination to protect yourself from the flu virus.

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“This is because if you have diabetes, a long term respiratory, heart, kidney, liver or neurological condition, are immunosuppressed, morbidly obese or have problems with your spleen, you are more likely to experience serious complications from flu, like pneumonia, and end up in hospital.

“The flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu.

“GP practices and pharmacies have worked hard to put social distancing and other measures in place so you can have the flu vaccination in a safe environment.”

People with a long-term health condition should have received a letter to invite them for their flu vaccination and can speak to their GP to arrange an appointment.

The flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS to anyone with a serious long-term health condition, including:

  • respiratory conditions, such as asthma (needing steroid inhaler or tablets), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and bronchitis
  • diabetes
  • heart conditions, such as coronary heart disease or heart failure
  • being very overweight – a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above
  • chronic kidney disease
  • liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), or cerebral palsy
  • a learning disability
  • problems with your spleen, for example, sickle cell disease, or if you have had your spleen removed
  • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or taking medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Richard
Richard
1 month ago

As a nation we need to change our behavior. I grew up thinking ‘if I can get out of bed I can go to work’. Clearly that is not the right course of action as I was passing flue and other bugs onto workmates. And they onto me to take home. Employers and employees need to be confident to say “I have a stinking cold, I’m staying at home till its gone”. Or work from home if you can. So many will call someone a ‘snowflake’ if they don’t come into work because of a cold. But it’s not about… Read more »

Scud .
Scud .
Reply to  Richard
1 month ago

That’s all very well .but if you don’t go in ,you don’t get paid .

Traveller
Traveller
Reply to  Richard
1 month ago

no – go to work, stop using a cold, that cannot be cured as an excuse – if you do not work, you do not get paid, then you have no food and then after a while, no job because you are unreliable.

go and sponge off the state if you want to blag the sick every time you get the slightest sniffle.

off to work
off to work
1 month ago

i get asthma. iv had the flu jab im self employed im a plumber so go into peoples houses so what im i to do? i got no help on the first lockdown so i have to go to work unlucky me

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
1 month ago

Why does flu still exist if we have a vaccine? Never seem to get a straight answer on this one!

Traveller
Traveller
Reply to  Boris Johnson
1 month ago

because there are so many strains of flu and it evolves each year. The vaccine is based on the strain that goes through the southern hemisphere countries during their winter, when we in the UK are having the summer. They then start giving out the vaccine based on the expectation of the same strain, which isn’t always the case.

some years they get it completely wrong, other years it is barely 50% effective. Might as well throw a dart at a board, be more accurate.

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