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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

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 encourage people 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 and its partners are urging people to get their flu jab as soon as possible.

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

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East’s Winter Wellbeing spokeswoman, 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 of flu 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.

“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.”

Nationally, around 760 people were admitted to intensive care with complications of flu last year.

Sean Reynolds, Chairman of the Cheshire East Safeguarding Adults Board, said: “We believe safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility.

“Encouraging neighbours, friends and relatives in the ‘at risk’ groups to take up the flu jab is a straightforward way of applying that principle.”

Further resources and advice are available at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/winter and www.snowangels.org.uk

Groups most at risk are:

· Over 65’s 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.

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