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 are encouraging residents to get their flu jab as soon as possible.
While some people might think influenza is a bad cold, ‘flu’ can actually be a severe illness that can lead to serious complications.
People at increased risk of severe illness if they catch flu are older people, the very young, pregnant women, those with long-term health conditions – particularly chronic lung or heart disease – and those with a weakened immune system.
The flu jab is the single most effective way to protect yourself and those around you.
While most healthy people generally recover within a week, flu can lead to serious complications, like pneumonia, which require hospital treatment. Every year, thousands of people die from this preventable disease.
As the flu bug changes every winter, it is very important that people are immunised each year, as the flu jab protects against the latest strains circulating.
The best time to get vaccinated is before the flu season starts, so please speak to your GP surgery or pharmacy about getting the vaccination as soon as possible.
Those eligible to receive a free flu vaccination on the NHS are:
● People aged 65 or over;
● All pregnant women;
● People living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility;
● Those 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;
● People aged from six months to less than 65 who have certain medical conditions;
● All two and three-year-olds (nasal spray vaccine); and
● All children in school reception class and school years one-six and up to the age of ten years (nasal spray vaccine).
Parents of young children are strongly recommended to make sure that their children have had their free flu vaccination. For children aged two to ten years, it is quickly done with a simple nasal spray instead of a jab.
Dr Matt Tyrer, health protection lead at Cheshire East Council, added: “Flu is a highly-infectious disease with symptoms that come on very quickly, especially fever, tiredness and aching joints.
“Both adults and children can be very ill with flu and can spread it to others even before they become unwell. Children are also ‘super-spreaders’ of flu, so vaccinating them can protect more vulnerable members of the community, especially older people.”
Residents who come into contact with anyone who has a weakened immune system and health and social care workers are also urged to protect themselves and those around them, by having the jab.
For advice and information about the flu vaccination, speak to your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist or visit: www.nhs.uk/staywell/
For further winter-related advice, 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.