North West health experts: It’s not too late to protect yourself from flu

Public Health England North West has urged those most at risk of flu to get their free vaccination after evidence shows that flu is circulating in the North West.

Dr Will Welfare, lead consultant in Health Protection, PHE North West said: “Surveillance has shown that the number of people catching flu in the North West and elsewhere in the country is starting to increase.

“Flu can be serious and even deadly for older adults, very young children, and people with underlying health conditions. The vaccine is the best defence we have against what can be a serious illness. If you’re in an eligible group – make sure you get vaccinated by contacting your GP or pharmacist."

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If they haven’t already had the flu nasal spray, it is important that children in the clinical risk groups for flu visit their GP as soon as possible to be vaccinated. Primary school children should take the opportunity to be vaccinated when their school vaccination programme begins, and toddlers aged two and three should contact their GP surgery to get their flu vaccine.

PHE North West has seen an increase in reports of outbreaks in settings such as schools, hospitals and care homes. Don’t visit vulnerable people if you are unwell with flu.

Symptoms of flu include sudden onset of fever, cough as well as sore throat, aching muscles and joints. The best advice for treating flu in healthy people is to stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and take pain relievers such as paracetamol. Children under 16 should not take any medicines containing aspirin.