People across North Yorkshire and York are being encouraged to get their flu vaccination if they have not already.
There has been a significant increase in flu cases across our region over the last few months and this is likely to continue spread over the winter. Local hospitals are also seeing a high number of patients, of varying ages, being admitted with flu.
It comes as the latest data shows there were 5,500 patients in hospital with flu across the UK last week and more than 9,000 patients with COVID.
Eligible groups, such as the over 50s, pregnant women, health and social care workers and people with serious health conditions and their carers are being encouraged to take up the offer of a free NHS flu vaccine as soon as possible.
For many people, flu is a very unpleasant illness that can knock even the most healthy of us off our feet. For more vulnerable people, it can cause serious and life-threatening complications.
If you feel unwell with flu, it is advised you rest, keep warm, take ibuprofen or paracetamol if you are able to in order to lower your temperature and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. People are also being asked to keep indoor rooms well ventilated if possible, without making them too cold.
Sue Peckitt, Director of Nursing (North Yorkshire) for Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, said: “Flu isn’t just a bad cold, while most people get better on their own with rest, keeping warm and drinking plenty of fluids, they’re still likely to experience a few days of unpleasant symptoms such as a high temperature, head and body aches, difficulty sleeping and exhaustion.
“This is not something people would want to experience, especially over winter. GPs do not recommend antibiotics for flu because they will not relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.
“The best way to prevent against serious illness is to get vaccinated”
A pharmacist can give treatment advice and recommend flu remedies. Call a pharmacy or contact them online before going in person. You can get medicines delivered or ask someone to collect them for you.
To reduce the risk of spreading flu:
- Have the flu jab as soon as possible (available free to certain groups via the NHS and for anyone – for a small fee – at their local pharmacy)
- wash your hands often with warm water and soap
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- bin used tissues as quickly as possible
- try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities.
Flu vaccines are safe and effective. They’re offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications. The vaccine is free for frontline NHS staff and care staff who are not offered it by their employer.
A free flu vaccine is given to adults who:
- are 50 and over (including those who will be 50 by 31 March 2023)
- have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in long-stay residential care
- receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who is more likely to get a severe infection due to a weakened immune system, such as someone living with HIV, someone who has had a transplant, or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
- Are a frontline health and social care worker and you cannot get a flu vaccine through your employer
You can have an NHS flu vaccine at:
- a pharmacy offering the service (if you’re aged 18 or over)
- some maternity services if you’re pregnant
- Sometimes, you may be offered a flu vaccine at a hospital appointment.
To book your free flu vaccine visit Book or manage a free NHS flu vaccination at a pharmacy – NHS (www.nhs.uk)