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Sunday, 13 November 2016

Vulnerable People & Flu

Recognising the symptoms of Flu and understanding the risks is essential when dealing with vulnerable people.

Many people still think that Flu is just a bad cold, but it isn't.  Flu can develop into more serious illnesses, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, which could lead to a stay in hospital or even in more serious cases death.

The number of deaths in the UK from Flu varies each year but can be as high as 10,000 deaths - in a Flu epidemic this number is more than 20,000.

Each year around 15-20% of people in the UK are infected with Flu, though many people say they rarely get Flu!

Flu spreads easily - the virus can survive as particles in the air, or on surfaces such as door handles for several hours.  Therefore, one person with Flu can infect many others.

People with Flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away and a cubic metre of air may contain around 16,000 Flu viruses.

People coughing, talking and exhaling can project Flu particles into the air.
You are more susceptible to Flu if you are
  • pregnant
  • aged 65 or over
  • a person with diabetes - having Flu can also affect the glucose control of diabetes, leading to hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia which can potentially have serious consequences.
or if you have a long term condition, for example:
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Heart issues such as Heart Disease/Stroke
  • Brain or nervous system such as Parkinson's, Dementia and Alzheimers
  • Kidneys
  • Liver
  • Immune System - Flu is more severe and common in people with Immune System complications as complication this makes infections more likely
  • Spleen
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