Princess Alexandra Hospital staff in fight against flu

Politics / Sat 15th Oct 2016 am31 11:55am

Flu PAHAS the national flu campaign is launched across England, The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow is stepping up its own campaign – and urging people to get ready for winter.

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust has been working to ensure the public and staff keep well by promoting the ‘flu fighter’ campaign.

The Trust is emphasising that people can protect themselves against the health risks that winter brings by having the flu vaccination, and is keen to dispel myths surrounding the vaccine – for instance, the idea that the flu jab gives you flu. The fact is that the flu jab cannot give you flu as it does not contain any live viruses.

Fighting flu also means making sure staff are protected. Since the Trust’s campaign started, staff have been lining up to get vaccinated, with top hospital staff leading the way. Chief Executive Phil Morley and Chief Medical Officer Andy Morris, were among the first to get the jab.

Flu can be nasty but in healthy people it will usually clear up on its own within a week. However, flu can be more severe in certain people, such as:
anyone aged 65 and over
pregnant women
children and adults with an underlying health condition (particularly long-term heart or respiratory disease)
children and adults with weakened immune systems

Chief Medical Officer Andy Morris said: “Anyone in the risk groups is more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia, so they should have a flu vaccine every year to protect them. However, it is important for everyone, even those not in the risk categories, to be immunised, as this helps to prevent the spread of infection.”

Princess Alexandra serves a wide area of Essex and Hertfordshire – and pressure on services, particularly A&E, can grow at this time of the year. To reduce the risk of infection, staff are asking people to avoid visiting anyone in hospital if they are feeling unwell.

Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive Professor Nancy Fontaine said: “It is important that the risk of infection is reduced to protect patients, so we are urging people: If you have been unwell in the past 48 hours, with a cough, cold, flu, upset stomach or other infection, please do not visit friends or relatives in hospital.”

You can find out more about flu immunisation on the NHS Choices website.

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