KeepHealthCare.ORG – Flu is a bigger threat to Brits than terrorism and extreme weather, expert warns
FLU is the greatest threat to the UK health above terrorism and extreme weather events, a top nurse has warned.
Hospital staff were told they should have the flu jab to protect patients, themselves and their families from the infectious bug.
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The flu is the greatest threat to people in the UK, a top nurse has warned
Rod Thomson, deputy president of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “When you are thinking about the impact [of not having the jab] to your patients and your colleagues, keep in mind that this is the highest threat to the UK.”
The devastating 2017 flu season in the UK, which saw the killer Aussie flu sweep across the country, caused 352 deaths and left thousands more in hospital, according to the latest figures from Public Health England.
At it’s peak some eight million people were thought to be suffering the flu during winter, according to online tool FluSurvey.
And the upcoming flu season could be even worse, as the Brisbane flu makes its way across the globe.
The devastating 2017 flu season in the UK caused 352 deaths and left thousands more in hospital
The Brisbane flu, which originated in the Australian state of Queensland, will be included in this year’s four-strain flu vaccine, the World Health Organisation announced last month.
The WHO named the flu the deadliest in the world after last year’s horrific flu season in Australia, which killed 1,100 people.
Professor Robert Dingwall, a flu expert at Nottingham Trent University previously told The Sun Online that the Brisbane flu is not something to worry about just yet.
“It’s probably the most dangerous strain we have seen for some years, but that’s not to say it is absolutely the most dangerous strain we have ever seen,” he said.
“It’s not likely to do damage to the same scale as the 1918 Spanish flu.
“We shouldn’t really worry too much about this turning into a major health threat.”
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The best way to protect yourself against the flu is to get vaccinated
Official NICE guidelines on improving flu vaccination rates say hospital bosses should consider “using staff incentives, such as entry into a prize draw on receiving a vaccination or referring a colleague”.
Previously NHS Wales has handed out shopping vouchers to “incentivise” staff to get the vaccine, while health chiefs in Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust reportedly offered an extra day off to staff taking up the jab in 2011.
Some nurses warned the jab was not suitable for all staff.
Leslie Harrison, a nurse from Dorset, developed sepsis when she had the flu jab after having chemotherapy, which compromises the immune system.
And Jane-Elizabeth Tooke told how she was laughed at by colleagues when she said she was likely to have a bad reaction to the jab.
She said: “I declined the offer [of a flu jab] but I was co-erced into having it for various reasons, I’m very, very lucky to be standing here today.”
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People over the age of 65, young children, pregnant women and people with underlying health conditions like asthma and heart disease are the most at-risk in the community.
They’re most likely to catch flu and also most likely to suffer complications, and even death, from the illness.
The best way to protect yourself from falling ill with the flu is to regularly wash your hands to kill germs, practice safe hygiene by using a tissue when you sneeze and cough and making sure you have had your flu jab.
The NHS offers a free flu jab – but only to certain age and health groups, so speak to your pharmacist or GP to see if you are eligible.
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