Flu occurs every year, usually in the winter, which is why it’s sometimes called seasonal flu. It’s a highly infectious disease with symptoms that come on very quickly. To find out more about the symptoms of flu visit the NHS website (opens in a new window).
What causes flu?
Flu is caused by influenza viruses that infect the windpipe and lungs. And because it’s caused by viruses and not bacteria, antibiotics won’t treat it.
How do you catch flu?
When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they spread the flu virus in tiny droplets of saliva over a wide area. These droplets can then be breathed in by other people or they can be picked up by touching surfaces where the droplets have landed.
How do we protect against flu?
The flu vaccine provides the best protection available against a virus that can cause severe illness. The most likely viruses that will cause flu are identified in advance of the flu season and vaccines are then made to match them as closely as possible. The vaccines are given in the autumn ideally before flu starts circulating. During the last ten years the vaccine has generally been a good match for the circulating strains.
Flu vaccination: who should have it this winter and why?
The following guide explains how you can help protect yourself and your children against Flu this coming winter, and why it’s very important that people who are at increased risk from Flu have their free vaccination every year.
You can order paper copies of this leaflet and they are available to order for free or download and are available in other languages website: Flu vaccination: who should have it this winter and why (opens in a new window)
Where can you get the flu jab in Worcestershire?
To find a pharmacy that offers the flu jab visit NHS flu vaccine (opens in a new window)
Work in Health and Social Care?
For those working in a care home or health and care environment, where there are many vulnerable people, it is incredibly important to have the free flu vaccine. It not only helps to protect you and your immediate family, but also helps to protect the people you support.
The Health and Social Care Workers Winter Vaccinations campaign communicates the importance of getting the flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster.
Breaking myths around flu
Here is a text version of the video:
Myth. Flu isn’t such a big deal.
Fact. On average 8,000 people die of flu in England every year, some years that figure reaches 14,000.
Myth. The flu vaccine gives you flu.
Fact. The adult flu jab doesn’t contain live virus so it’s impossible to get the flu from it.
Myth. Eating well and washing my hands will protect me from the flu.
Fact. Hand washing and a healthy diet are both beneficial, but the vaccine is the single most effective protection against flu.
Myth. You must avoid other people after your flu jab because you’ll be infectious. The flu vaccine gives you flu.
Fact. The vaccine cannot give you flu so you won’t be infectious. You can carry on as normal.
Myth. It’s only old people who need the flu jab.
Fact. Anyone can have the flu jab and it’s especially recommended for social care workers and people who are vulnerable. If you work in health and social care, having your flu jab not only protects you, but also those around you.