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Influenza

16443972 s subbotinaFlu' is an illness which is caused by a virus, which usually has symptoms of high temperature, shivers, headache, muscle aches and pains and often a dry cough and a sore throat.

Information about influenza

It is not the same as a heavy cold and its symptoms would normally render even the fittest person quite unwell. Most people would need to go to bed for a day or so. Complications of flu can lead to serious illness and even pneumonia in susceptible people.

There are many variations of the influenza virus, some more harmful than others. 'Flu' is not treatable with antibiotics but immunisation can protect against the worst type of flu. The World Health organisation tracks the progress of flu epidemics and predicts which of the most serious strains will arrive in the UK each winter. Special vaccines are made up each year to provide protection from the three most serious viruses and these are available in October. Vaccination will not protect you from the common cold and because different flu viruses arrive each year, and protection does not necessarily carry over from one year to the next, which is why we have to vaccinate each year.


It is recommended you have a influenza vaccination if you belong to any of the following groups:

  • Chronic heart disease
  • Chronic respiratory disease, including asthma
  • Chronic renal disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Immuno-suppression due to disease or treatment (patients on long term steroids)
  • All aged 65 years and over
  • Nursing home or long-stay facility residents

Nearly 1/4 of our practice population will be eligible for the influenza vaccination, which means that October and November are a very busy time for us. We will be providing special "Flu" clinics each year, and you will be able to book your appointment by the end of September. Vaccination takes less than a minute and we have a very efficient system of booking patients in and recording the details. If you are eligible for a flu vaccination then keep an eye out for the advertisements we place in the Surgery during September.

 

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