The weather is bleak, and we are now approaching winter. Flu season has come to the Black Country. And who better to tell you the importance of flu jab and how to protect yourself this winter, than our Peaky Blinder’s inspired flu vaccinators, the BCPFT Jabbers!
Established in October, the Jabber’s role has not only included delivering the life-saving flu vaccine to members of our Trust, but also educating staff on the myths and facts of the flu this year, so that they too can protect themselves, colleagues, family and friends from a virus that affects all ages of the population.
Anyone and everyone is susceptible to flu, and that is why our Jabbers want you to know the following:
Look out for the following symptoms
Flu symptoms can affect an individual very quickly. Watch out for the following:
- a sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
- an aching body
- feeling tired or exhausted
- a dry cough
- a sore throat
- a headache
- difficulty sleeping
- loss of appetite
- diarrhoea or tummy pain
- feeling sick and being sick
The flu vaccine is one of the safest in the world
The flu jab CANNOT give you the flu, as there is no live virus in the vaccine.
The vaccine is given to millions of people in the UK, and though the strains of flu included may change from year to year, the vaccine is still thoroughly tested and certified safe for everyone.
Adults over 65, children and pregnant women are eligible for the vaccine
If you are pregnant, you can have the flu vaccination at any stage of the pregnancy. Having the vaccination when pregnant is beneficial, and will help protect the baby from flu in their first few months. The flu vaccine is free on the NHS for children over the age of six months with a long-term health condition and for children in primary school.
It is very easy to catch the flu
The flu virus is highly infectious and spreads easily from person to person, mainly by germs from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces (such as door handles) for 24 hours. That is why we suggest you always do the following to reduce the risk of catching it:
- wash your hands with warm water and soap
- when you cough or sneeze, use tissues to trap germs
- bin used tissues as quickly as possible – don’t stuff them in your pockets or bags
What to do if you catch the flu
- go home, rest and sleep
- don’t go back into work until you no longer display any symptoms of the flu
- keep yourself warm
- take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains
- drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (your pee should be light yellow or clear)
If you are still unsure about the above and whether you are eligible to receive the flu vaccine, contact your local GP today or visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/. If you think you have the flu and the symptoms do not improve over seven days, please call 111.
Our Jabber Journey so far