People across B&NES who are eligible for the flu jab are being urged to make an appointment with their GP or pharmacist to help them ‘Stay Well This Winter’.
Those eligible for the free flu vaccination include people over the age of 65, those with long-term conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, pregnant women and those with a weakened immune system.
Children aged two, three and four and those in early school years are also encouraged to get vaccinated with a pain-free nasal spray.
Flu – short for influenza – is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. Anyone can catch flu all year round, but it’s especially common in winter and as the virus changes every year the vaccination is offered annually.
Flu is caused by a different group of viruses to the common cold and the symptoms tend to start more suddenly, be more severe and last longer.
Some of the main symptoms of flu include a high temperature (fever) of 38°C (100.4°F) or above; tiredness and weakness; a headache; general aches and pains and a dry, chesty cough.
Dr Ian Orpen, a local GP and Clinical Chair at BaNES CCG said the vaccination was the best way to protect against flu.
He said: “Unfortunately illnesses such as coughs, colds and sore throats are an inevitable part of winter but with some simple steps we can prevent these from becoming more serious.
“I urge everyone in BaNES who is eligible for the flu vaccination and not yet had it to make an appointment and give themselves a good chance of protection against the virus.”
This year the NHS is running a national campaign – ‘Stay Well This Winter’ – which is giving people lots of advice on ways they can stay well during the colder months.
The campaign includes television adverts, posters and leaflets in GP surgeries and a website with information such as how to keep warm over winter and financial schemes that can help with the cost of heating.
It also has details on where to get advice when feeling unwell, such as from your local pharmacist and tips on how to treat minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds and sore throats with over the counter medicines such as paracetamol.
Those suffering with illness this winter are advised to call NHS 111 for advice or talk to their local pharmacist.
If symptoms persist then make an appointment to see your GP.