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Call for unpaid carers to protect themselves and their loved ones from flu

30 October 2012

Carers across Scotland work hard to ensure that the people they love the most enjoy a happy and healthy life, but many continue to put themselves and those they care for at risk of flu.

The flu jab cannot give you flu rgb
There are lots of myths surrounding the flu virus and many carers simply don’t consider it a serious enough condition to be vaccinated against - at worst it’s often viewed as just a bad case of the cold!

But the reality is very different. Catching flu doesn’t just result in a few days in bed as it can cause severe symptoms that can last for a week or more. In some cases it can even develop into something much worse. Chills, fever, nasal and sinus congestion, sore throat and extreme fatigue are all common and very unwelcome symptoms of flu.

Flu can knock you out, making you unable to care for a vulnerable family member or a friend. There’s also the very real danger that you could pass the virus on to someone who is at risk of developing further complications from flu.

The simple solution is for all unpaid carers to come forward and receive the flu jab, to protect themselves and the vulnerable people that they care for.ou unable to care for a vulnerable family member or a friend. 

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, Sir Harry Burns, said, “Flu strikes suddenly and it's important to be prepared. Pharmacists will be able to offer advice on medicines that help to reduce temperatures and ease the symptoms of flu but if you are in one of the ‘at-risk’ groups, the best way to protect yourself is to get the jab.

“It only takes a few minutes to get the flu jab, but this will protect you for 12 months. Take up the offer of the jab to ensure that you’re protected, as there’s nothing worse that suffering from a health condition, together with flu.”

You may have received the flu jab last year but it’s important that you’re vaccinated again this year. The flu virus changes regularly, so every year a new vaccine is developed to protect against new strains of the virus.just doctor

The vaccine is completely safe, and contrary to popular myths, it doesn’t contain live viruses so you won't catch flu from the vaccine. The vaccine works by helping your body to recognise and fight the virus so if you experience symptoms such as a runny nose or achiness for a day or so after getting the jab, that means your immune system is responding and the jab is working.

Once you have received the vaccination it will take around ten days to work and will protect you from flu for about a year.

It’s quick and easy to protect yourself from flu so don’t delay, make an appointment with your GP or healthcare centre to received the flu jab.

For further information on the flu jab, log on to www.immunisationscotland.org.uk 

 

 

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