Protecting yourself with the flu jab will help protect others and ensure a healthier winter, according to the region’s ambulance service.
Last year the flu season once again led to more than 100 deaths in the UK, claiming 107 lives and affecting thousands more. Annual flu-related admissions into intensive care or high dependency units also increased last year.
John Martin, interim Director of Clinical Quality at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), is advising people to protect themselves by getting the flu jab.
He said: “For the majority of people who catch it, flu is really unpleasant, but for some it can lead to chest infections, severe complications and even death. It’s very important that those who suffer conditions such as asthma and diabetes, the elderly, and pregnant women, receive the flu jab in order to protect themselves from the disease.
“Even if you are not one of the people suffering from such conditions, you still may want to consider getting the flu jab to stop you developing the illness and infecting others who may be more vulnerable with it.”
The ambulance service is also reminding people that there are alternative options to calling 999 during the winter period.
“Most cold and flu illnesses can be self-treated at home so make sure your medicine cabinet is well stocked. If you are worried about your symptoms then your pharmacist can be a great source of information, and you can also ring 111 for advice,” added John.
Flu advice is part of EEAST’s Wise Up For Winter campaign which is running over the next few months to help raise awareness with the public about what they can do to ensure they stay safe and well over the winter months. To download the Trust’s leaflet and find out more, visit www.eastamb.nhs.uk