This year’s Flu season will coincide with the continuing impact of COVID-19 on the population, the NHS would like as many people to get the Flu vaccine as possible. As with COVID-19, it is possible to have no symptoms of Flu and unknowingly spread it to your friends, family and those you care for. For more details on the flu jab, please look at the NHS website, or read this leaflet. You can get a flu jab from your local Pharmacy or GP Practice, and the Flu Vaccine should cost between £8-15.
What is Seasonal Flu?
Flu is a common illness that tends to circulate every winter. Flu is spread by coughs and sneezes. Flu is not the same as the common cold, it is caused by a different group of viruses (influenza) and Flu symptoms are more severe and last longer than a common cold. Flu is an infectious disease and we can limit the spread of the Flu virus in the same way that we limit the spread of other respiratory viruses such as COVID-19.
How can we limit the spread of the Flu virus?
The Flu vaccine gives you the best protection against Flu and will stop you from spreading flu to other people who may be more at risk of serious problems from flu. The flu vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine. You can also reduce the risk of spreading Flu by doing the following:
➢ wash your hands often with warm water and soap
➢ use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze
➢ bin used tissues as quickly as possible
➢ Wearing a face mask in public spaces
➢ social distancing
Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include:
➢ a sudden high temperature of 38C or above
➢ an aching body
➢ feeling tired or exhausted
➢ a dry cough
➢ a sore throat
➢ a headache
➢ difficulty sleeping
➢ loss of appetite
➢ diarrhoea or tummy pain
➢ feeling sick and being sick
The symptoms are similar for children, but they can also get pain in their ear and appear less active.
How to treat Flu yourself
To help you get better more quickly:
➢ rest and sleep
➢ keep warm
➢ take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains
➢ drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (your pee should be light yellow or clear)
Are you eligible for a free Flu vaccine?
If you fall into one of these at–risk groups, then you will be eligible for a free vaccine:
➢ adults 65 and over
➢ people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
➢ pregnant women
➢ people living with someone who is at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
➢ children aged 2 and 3 years on 31 August 2020
➢ children in primary school
➢ children in year 7 (secondary school)
➢ frontline health and social care workers
If you are eligible for a free flu vaccine, then your GP surgery should contact you to arrange this.