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Press release

Flu - patients reminded to ‘Care about the cost…’ to their health

Pregnant women and patients with diabetes, heart disease or a bad chest are more likely to be put in danger if they catch flu.

NHS Bury’s seasonal flu vaccination campaign is now well under way, and eligible patients are advised not to delay and to arm themselves against the virus now.

The seasonal flu vaccine is available for free on the NHS to those patients at risk of developing serious complications from flu. 

Complications of flu mostly affect people in high risk groups such as people aged 65 and over; those living with a long term medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease or a bad chest, and pregnant women.

Carers and those living in nursing or residential homes are also being offered the jab.

Although the majority of normally healthy people will recover from flu within a few days, patients in high risk groups are more likely to have a bad case of flu and develop a serious complication such as a chest infection, bronchitis or pneumonia.

This year, Bury's seasonal flu public information campaign is being linked to NHS Bury's successful Care about the cost campaign.  Patients are being urged to ‘care about the cost to their health’ and to do all they can to prevent catching flu by protecting themselves with the vaccination. 

Dr. Peter Elton, Director of Public Health for NHS Bury said: “Flu vaccinations within GP practices are now well underway.  Thank you to all those patients that have already had the vaccine, and to our colleagues within GP practices for all their efforts to vaccinate their patients in advance of the winter months.  It’s really important that patients that are eligible to have the vaccine get protected now, and that they don’t wait for an outbreak.  The vaccine is safe, saves lives and offers protection for a whole year.”

Dr. Kiran Patel, Clinical Lead for Bury’s shadow Clinical Commissioning Group added: “People in high risk groups such as those with heart disease, diabetes or a bad chest are more likely to have a bad case of flu and can develop serious complications such as a chest infection. In a small number of cases, flu can cause patients to become critically ill.  Flu vaccination saves lives.  If you are eligible I would urge you to get protected now by booking an appointment at your GP practice.  The sooner you have the vaccine, the sooner it provides protection.“

ENDS

Date: 20th October 2011

FOR PRESS & MEDIA ENQUIRIES: contact Caroline Dearden, Corporate Communications Manager on 0161 762 3106 or email bur-pct.communications@nhs.net

Notes to Editor:

  • Flu is a highly infectious and very common viral illness that is spread by coughs and sneezes. Flu circulates all year round, but is especially common during winter, which is why it is also known as 'seasonal flu'.
  • The symptoms of flu include a sudden high temperature, headache and general aches and pains, tiredness and sore throat.  You can also lose your appetite, feel nauseous and have a cough.
  • Every year a vaccine is developed to protect against the strains of flu virus that are likely to be circulating that winter.
  • Eligible groups being offered the vaccination include: people aged 65 and over, those living with a long term medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease or a bad chest, and pregnant women.  Carers and those living in nursing or residential homes are also being offered the jab. Please see ‘Who should have the seasonal flu jab’ information via:
    http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Flu-jab/Pages/Whyitshouldbedone.aspx for more information.
  • For information about the seasonal flu jab please visit 'Seasonal flu jab - about the vaccine' http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Flu-jab/Pages/How-does-it-work.aspx or contact your GP Practice. 
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