Flu jab warning: NHS warns of MAJOR outbreak - getting vaccinated could be life-saving

A particularly bad flu season is being predicted for this winter, making getting vaccinated even more important.

Earlier this week NHS England warned that GPs and hospitals should expect more cases of flu than usual.

The announcement by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens came as Australia and New Zealand experienced their worst outbreak for several years.

Indeed, Australia is said to have had almost double the amount of flu circulating in July and August compared to the average seen over the previous five winters.

In the UK, 600 people die every year from complications of flu, such as pneumonia.

The common viral infection usually develops within one to three days of a person being infected.

It is contagious and can be passed between people through coughing, sneezing or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Symptoms include a high temperature, tiredness and weakness, a headache, general aches and pains, and a dry, chesty cough.

However, having a flu vaccination can help protect against infection.

It works by causing antibodies to develop in the body.

If you are over 65 you are entitled to a free NHS flu vaccination.

This year if you were born on or before March 31 1953 you are eligible.

In the UK, most flu outbreaks begin in late autumn or winter.

According to the NHS, flu in otherwise healthy people should clear up on its own within a week.

They recommend people rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Additionally, you can take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and relieve aches.

However, people in ‘at risk’ groups - such as those over 65 - are more likely to develop serious complications from the illness, and may need to see their GP or be admitted to hospital.



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