Autumn is upon us – the time of year we fondly associate with conkers, Halloween and fireworks. But it’s also when the flu virus rears its ugly head.
The symptoms are all too recognisable – high temperature, chills, aches and pains, which make it difficult to even lift your head from the pillow.
But the good news is there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself and others from this seasonal pest. Basic hygiene can make a difference – for instance, covering your mouth with a disposable tissue when you cough or sneeze, and regularly washing your hands with soap and warm water. You can also catch flu from surfaces, so it’s a good idea to keep things such as phones, door handles and shared computers clean.
And, if you start to feel unwell, you should stay off work or school until you're better. We also recommend the annual flu vaccine for certain groups of people. These include people aged 65 and over, pregnant women, and anyone [adults or children] with an underlying health condition or weakened immune system.
The flu vaccine is free for these ‘risk groups’, so if you think you need to have one, get in touch with your GP.
Dr Justin Geddes