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Everything you need to know about flu!

Everything you need to know about flu!

2018-10-03 
| by St George's Trust | Posted in Tooting Health & Wellbeing
St George's

This month’s blog from St George’s in Tooting is all about flu! Over to you, Patricia...

Hi, my name is Patricia Campbell and I am the Flu Lead at St George’s. It’s my job to ensure that as many of our 9,500 staff as possible are protected against the flu virus this winter.

As I’m sure many of you know, influenza, or flu for short, is a highly infectious virus that can cause serious complications and even death in both healthy people and the chronically unwell.

Flu is transmitted by droplets in the atmosphere when people cough, sneeze or talk. The droplets land in the mouths and or noses of people who are nearby and inhaled into the lungs. It is also transmitted by touching surfaces or objects with the flu virus on it. Simply by touching your own mouth, nose or eyes, you can become infected.

This is why it’s so important that our staff get the flu jab, along with anyone who falls into the following at risk groups:

  • Adults aged 65 and over
  • Pregnant women
  • Children and adults with an underlying health condition (such as long-term heart, respiratory disease or diabetes)
  • Children and adults with weakened immune systems

If you, or a loved one, fall into one of these groups, please do speak to your GP or pharmacist about the flu jab.

Whilst you might be worried about the flu jab making you ill, it definitely does not give you the flu! The vaccine contains a protein that acts like the flu virus, which triggers your immune system to produce a fast antibody that will kill the virus. 

The symptomatic side effects of the vaccine are short-lived. They can include fever, headache, fatigue and aching muscles (lasting 48 hours) and local muscular stiffness or pain at the injection site. You can combat the symptoms with paracetamol or ibuprofen (as directed on the packet) and hydrate yourself with plenty of fluids.  

The vaccine takes two weeks to make you actively immune to flu, so having your jab early before flu season begins is important if you want to avoid catching flu.

At St George’s, we started our staff flu vaccination campaign last month with our onsite flu clinic and team of vaccinators who visit departments and wards to administer the vaccine. We’re working hard to protect our staff, patients and the local community, so please do help us with the fight against flu if you might be at risk this winter. 
 

Want to hear from a particular service or department at St George’s in next month’s blog post – let us know! Email communications@stgeorges.nhs.uk with your suggestions with the email title “Tooting Daily PRSS blog”.

 


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