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Monday, 14 December 2015

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 stay well this winter.

Free flu vaccinations are still available for people Public Health England has identified as being at risk of suffering from flu.

People over 65, pregnant women and people with underlying health conditions can get their flu jabs from GPs and community pharmacies.

Children aged two, three and four years old are being offered the vaccine by their GP surgery and those aged five and six are being offered it via the school health service.

Health and social care workers are also having the jab to protect themselves, as well as their patients and clients.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cabinet member in charge of health and care in the community, said: “Cheshire East Council is urging residents to get their flu jab as soon as possible.

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

“The best way to protect yourself and your family is to get the flu jab.”

Dr Heather Grimbaldeston, director of public health for Cheshire East, added: “We are encouraging people to contact their GP at the earliest opportunity and make an appointment.

“It is really important that people are immunised every year, as the flu bug changes each winter.

“Please don’t put it off or think it is not important. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people may see their GP and tens of thousands may be hospitalised because of flu each winter.”

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 (e.g. 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;
·         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.twitter.com/cheshireeastcouncil

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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