Old folks urged to have a flu jab

6 October 2012

WINTER is on its way, and elderly people and others in Port Talbot are being urged to have a flu jab.

Flu is a respiratory illness that spreads easily from person to person. For many people it is a minor irritant, but for some people it can be much worse.

Sara Hayes, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board’s director of public health, said: “For some people, particularly the elderly, pregnant women and those with existing medical conditions, flu can cause serious illness and be life-threatening.

“I can’t stress enough how important it is for people in the above groups to go to their GP and have their flu jab.

“The flu vaccination is highly effective, and has very few adverse side-effects. The most effective way of controlling flu is by as many people as possible being immunised against it.”

Last winter 607 people died of flu in Wales and England and Wales – and people in certain at-risk groups are 10 times more likely to die of flu than those in the general population.

Members of the following at-risk groups are being urged to ask their GP for the flu jab as soon as possible: people aged 65 and over; those aged six months or older with a long-term health condition such as respiratory, heart, kidney, liver or neurological disease, or diabetes; pregnant women; people who are immune-suppressed or living with someone who is; carers, and people living in a residential care home or other long-stay care facility.

A question and answer leaflet on the flu jab can be found in the Wellbeing section of ABMU’s website, www.abm.wales.nhs.uk

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