First case of influenza confirmed locally

Henrietta Brewer
November 28, 2019

"NHS services across England continue to work hard to prepare for the winter season, including staff getting their free flu jab, and now we're appealing to the public to "Help Us, Help You" by ensuring that they and their eligible children or relatives get vaccinated, now", said Professor Stephen Powis, NHS England national medical director.

A flu vaccine is recommended during the fall season every year for persons age six months and up.

The agency says 21 pneumonia and flu deaths have been reported so far this season. Influenza activity usually peaks in January or later.

Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of Global Positioning System, says: "Influenza can be a very unpleasant illness, and while it is not generally a serious illness for most people, for those in at-risk groups, such as young children, elderly people, those with long-term conditions and pregnant women, flu has the potential to trigger life-threatening complications".

The result is a flu vaccine that doesn't offer much protection. The first human testing began on a small scale this year at the National Institutes of Health.

Chief Pharmaceutical Officer at NHS England Dr Keith Ridge has urged pharmacy teams to get their own seasonal flu jabs.

Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory virus that can cause fever, cough, muscle aches, and fatigue.

Another factor that keeps people from getting vaccinated is they don't realize how risky flu and its complications, such as pneumonia, can be. For example, people with asthma may have attacks while infected with the flu.

"Oncology patients are especially vulnerable to flu complications".

Who can get the vaccine?

"They are more likely to acquire infection through with healthcare settings and are less likely to mount a response to vaccination".

Adult flu deaths are not required to be reported to the local health department, influenza-associated deaths of children under 18 are of serious concern and are a mandatory reportable condition.

"We need to do a better job of producing convincing messages" about the importance of the flu shot, said Dr. Sharon Watkins, a Pennsylvania epidemiologist and president of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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