It’s that time of year again when the prevalence of influenza (flu) starts to increase. At O’Briens pharmacy we are, again, offering both the NHS flu vaccination service and our private flu vaccination service. No appointment is necessary, just pop in or give us a ring to arrange a convenient time.
What is Flu?
Flu is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. It can be very unpleasant, but you’ll usually begin to feel better within about a week.
You can catch flu all year round, but it’s especially common in winter, which is why it’s also known as “seasonal flu”.
It’s not the same as the common cold. Flu is caused by a different group of viruses 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 38C (100.4F) or above
- tiredness and weakness
- a headache
- general aches and pains
- a dry, chesty cough
Cold-like symptoms – such as a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, and a sore throat – can also be caused by flu, but they tend to be less severe than the other symptoms you have.
Flu can make you feel so exhausted and unwell that you have to stay in bed and rest until you feel better.
The NHS provide a free seasonal flu vaccination to all patients in ‘at risk’ groups:
• everyone aged 65 and over (including those turning 65 before April 2018)
• everyone under 65 years of age who has a medical condition listed below:
• a heart problem
• a chest complaint or breathing difficulties, including bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma
• a kidney disease
• lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment)
• liver disease
• had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
• a neurological condition, eg multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy or learning disability
• a problem with your spleen, eg sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
• are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 and above).
• all pregnant women, at any stage of pregnancy
• everyone living in a residential or nursing home
• everyone who is the main carer for an older or disabled person
• household contacts of anyone who is immunocompromised
If you do not fall into any of the above categories, but would still like to be protected then we can still provide you with a vaccination for £8.95.
If you have any queries regarding the flu service then please give us a call or pop in and we will be able to assist.
More information can be found at the NHS Choices website