The flu virus is a killer and last year – of the 900 people admitted to hospital with the illness – 99 died, which was 11%!
So the NHS is now warning people about the dangers. The virus is a particular threat to people who already have long-term health conditions such as diabetes, dementia, immunosuppression, lung, heart, kidney, liver or neurological disease.
That’s why it’s vital that people with long-term conditions seek early vaccination to protect themselves this winter with a free flu vaccine, even if they feel healthy.
In England, more than 15 million people are living with a long-term condition or chronic disease, which is a health problem that cannot be cured, but can be managed by medication or other therapies.
Flu is not like a bad cold, it is a debilitating condition which affects the whole body. It can make existing conditions worse and can also increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
Dr Angela Manning, Deputy Medical Director Lancashire in NHS England, said: “It is really important that people with long-term conditions get vaccinated. Flu is a nasty virus which can have serious consequences for some people.
“The vaccine is the best possible protection against the flu virus. It changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so even if you had a jab last winter, another one will be needed to stay safe this year.
“Don’t underestimate flu and make an appointment at your GP surgery for the free vaccination as soon as possible. The flu jab is very safe and it doesn’t give you flu.”
For more information visit www.nhs.uk/flu