Patients are put on ‘super-flu’ stand-by

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A “SUPER FLU” outbreak has prompted health chiefs to call on Wiganers to protect themselves against the cold.

The virulent infection, which has so far spared the borough, has broke out in another part of Greater Manchester, leaving 11 people critically ill in hospital.

The patients – all from Stockport – were admitted to intensive care at Stepping Hill and Wythenshawe hospitals over the past two weeks.

Three of the cases were reported within a 24-hour period.

It is understood all 11 had existing health problems but are now recovering.

Health bosses have now warned that the worst of the flu season is still to come and urged people to get vaccinated – especially those in ‘at-risk’ groups.

Dr Paul Turner, Consultant in Public Health for the borough of Wigan, said: “Flu remains prevalent during the present cold spell.

“Elsewhere in Greater Manchester there have been admissions to intensive care due to flu. Therefore, we advise anyone at-risk who has not yet had a flu jab to contact their GP to get one.

“In addition, it is recommended that all pregnant women at whatever stage of pregnancy get the flu jab.

“Pregnant women are a greater risk of suffering complications following an infection with influenza virus.

“Flu immunisation is safe. Very few people have reactions to the vaccine and those that do usually have reactions limited to the injection site. Flu vaccine does not cause flu as it does not contain a live virus..

To book an appointment for a flu vaccine, contact your GP surgery directly.

Further information can be obtained at www.nhs.uk/conditions/Flu/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Those at-risk include all people aged 65 years and over, as well as people aged less than 65 who have long standing conditions such as:

Respiratory disease including people with asthma requiring preventer inhalers;

Heart disease;

Kidney disease;

Liver disease;

Neurological disease, for example if you have had a stroke in the past;

Diabetes;

Lowered immunity due either to a disease or treatment.