Helping you to stay out of hospital this winter

NHS Cambridgeshire is reminding people with a long term condition, such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes, to get the flu vaccination - it could save your life.

Last winter people with health problems were 11 times more likely to die from seasonal flu than fit and well people.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, Public Health Consultant at NHS Cambridgeshire said: “People with long term conditions are used to managing their health and taking precautions. However, many do not consider flu to be a risk. Getting flu when you already have a long term condition can lead to serious complications and tragically in some cases death, but these can be prevented by having the free vaccine.

“Unlike other medication for long term conditions, the flu jab is an annual one-off vaccine. It is a new vaccine each year to fight the flu virus which also changes every year. Getting flu when you already have a long term condition can be devastating. Unlike people with no underlying health condition who can treat themselves at home, often people suffering from flu with a long term condition will need transporting into hospital for treatment. In many cases, that can be very upsetting for the patient and their loved ones because they may have already spent a great deal of time in a health setting.”

There are additional ways people can protect themselves and those around them. Good hand hygiene - the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ technique – reduces the spread of germs. This means carrying tissues, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, disposing of the tissue after one use, and cleaning hands as soon as possible with soap and water or an alcohol hand gel.