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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Winter Wellbeing – protect yourself from flu

 

Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.

This week, we remind people there is still time to get their flu jab.

The flu may not seem like a big deal to some – but it can lead to serious complications and illness, particularly in winter.

And this is why Cheshire East Council is urging people to get their flu jab as soon as possible – with GPs and community pharmacies accepting appointments up until Christmas.

Public Health England has identified that the people at increased risk of suffering from flu are people over 65, pregnant women, people with underlying health conditions and parents of two, three and four-year-old children.

Health and social care workers are also urged to protect themselves, as well as their patients and clients by having the jab and many of them have already done so this year.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cabinet member in charge of health in the community, said: “For most healthy people, flu is an unpleasant but usually self-limiting disease with recovery generally within a week.

“However, older people, the very young, pregnant women and those with underlying disease are at particular risk of severe illness if they catch flu.

“Every year, hundreds of thousands of people may see their GP and tens of thousands may be hospitalised because of flu each winter.

“Symptoms can be very unpleasant and can last for several days – flu can lead to more serious complications like pneumonia and bronchitis, which need hospital treatment.”

Dr Heather Grimbaldeston, director of public health at Cheshire East Council, added: “It is really important that people are immunised every year as the flu bug changes each winter.

“The best way to protect yourself and your family is to get the flu jab, so please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity and make an appointment. Please don’t put it off or think it is not important.”

Groups most at risk of flu are:

· Over 65s and at risk groups, including pregnant women;

· At-risk groups cover those with a long-term health condition, i.e. diabetes, those with a weakened immune system (e.g. HIV or cancer patients), heart disease, chronic respiratory disease (e.g. severe asthma, COPD, bronchitis), kidney disease, liver disease, chronic neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and people in long stay residential homes;

· Two and three-year-olds;

· Carers;

· People who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill. By getting the flu jab, carers also reduce the chance of them transmitting flu to the person they care for.

For further winter-related advice, please visit: www.facebook.com/cheshireeastcouncil

and www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/winter

Residents can help friends and neighbours who do not have internet access by downloading and printing off information from the website and giving it to them.

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