This week Enfield Council warned that, as the weather turns colder, anyone who has not already had a ‘flu jab should seriously consider having one.
Influenza or the ‘flu is a highly infectious and very serious disease, it is not just a heavy cold. The symptoms appear very quickly and include fever, chills, headaches, aches and pains in the joints and muscles, and extreme tiredness. Serious cases of ‘flu and its complications, although less common, can lead to hospitalisation, permanent disability and even death.
Despite a mild ‘flu season in 2013/14, hospitals in England treated over 1,187 patients in intensive care settings, tragically, 8.4 per cent of them died.
The elderly, the very young, and people with underlying medical conditions are at a greater risk of suffering severe illness if they contract ‘flu. Even healthy people can still develop severe complications from influenza. Pregnant women are also at increased risk of contracting serious complications, compared with other healthy adults.
The ‘flu vaccination is also available free for all 2 to 4 year-olds and Year 1 to 3 school children. For most children, it is taken by having a small spray into their nose. No needles!
But remember, you do need the vaccine every year. If you were vaccinated last year, please do the same again this year as you won’t be protected against the new strains of circulating ‘flu.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Public Health, Cllr Krystle Fonyonga, said: “The ‘flu vaccine is one of the safest in the world and is the best way to protect yourself from catching influenza. Remember, as well as getting your vaccine, you can help reduce the spread of ‘flu by regularly washing your hands, particularly after sneezing or coughing, this is important as ‘flu can be passed on without experiencing any symptoms.
“Many people are eligible for a free ‘flu vaccination at your GP or at a local pharmacy. If your child is aged 2 to 4, or in Year 1 to 3, they will be invited to receive the vaccination at the GP surgery or at their school.
“So don’t delay, contact your GP or local pharmacy and get protected from ‘flu today!”