Influenza or the flu affects hundreds of people across the UK each year during the winter months. It is also referred to as seasonal flu since it occurs only during winter, especially between October and April.
People across all age groups, from babies to the elderly are susceptible to this seasonal illness. While most healthy people recover from flu normally, some sections of the population may take longer to recover. These include babies and young children, the elderly, caregivers, hospital workers, weak and infirm or even pregnant women.
When prevention is always better than cure, getting your flu jab each year from your local GP is crucial to maintaining good health during winter.
What Causes the Flu?
Flu is a respiratory disorder that affects the lungs and the air passages. It is caused by the influenza virus types A, B or C. The typical symptoms of flu include chills, cough, fever, headache, body aches and fatigue.
The virus spreads through droplets of saliva that spread into the surroundings every time an infected person sneezes or coughs. It can also spread through direct contact if you touch the hands of a person who is infected and has just sneezed or coughed.
So, whether somebody in your home is affected by the flu or you are a caregiver, we highly recommend that you visit your GP to get your annual flu jab.
Since the influenza virus has three variants, you may be attacked by a different variant of the virus each year. As a result, the same vaccine may not work effectively on the patients every year.
Consequently, a new vaccine is developed each year depending on the type of flu virus in circulation. Your local GP will give you the right vaccine.
What Does the Flu Vaccine Contain?
Flu vaccines comprise strains from weakened or killed flu viruses. Every season, the WHO circulates guidelines on the type of flu virus that is likely to be circulating. The predictions are usually correct, and the right type of vaccine is then developed.
Treating Flu with Vaccines
Immunisation is the best prevention for flu. In case you still catch it, your GP may prescribe antibiotics to protect you against secondary infections. However, these do not actually affect the virus.
Keep yourself safe from the flu. Contact your surgery to book your flu jab today.