Trust uses top doctors to spread the message about flu

It’s better to be safe and protected than let flu ruin your winter or Christmas is the message from Dr Ben Marshall, consultant in respiratory medicine.

As flu season begins it’s particularly important for certain “at risk” groups to protect themselves against the virus. Those who are over 65, pregnant or suffer with long-term health problems - such as respiratory, cardiac and kidney illnesses - are entitled to a free flu jab and they should take up this offer now.

Anyone else who is offered the vaccination should remember that what could be a fairly minor problem for some will be much more serious for others. The flu virus is highly infectious and for those with a chronic illness it can be life threatening.

Despite campaigns over recent years there are still myths surrounding the flu vaccine which stop people from having it. The most common of these is that the jab will give you the flu; it doesn’t. The vaccine contains inactivated flu viruses, which may cause minor soreness in the arm or a slight temperature, but won’t give you the flu. As the illness is caused by a virus it can’t be treated by antibiotics so getting vaccinated is especially important.

If you feel you’re in an “at risk” group, and haven’t been invited by your surgery to have your flu jab, you should contact your GP now.

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Page comments

Clear and informative but will you reach the over 65's via YouTube - not sure many of this age group are computer literate.
Marina Murphy (21/12/2011 18:44:13)