Winter warning over health risk

At risk groups urged to book a flu jab.

With flu season fast approaching, Birmingham health chiefs are urging people at risk across the city to think ahead and book their flu jabs now.

Flu is a highly contagious infection and, while healthy individuals usually recover within two to seven days, for some the disease can lead to hospitalisation, permanent disability or even death.

Those at greater risk from flu include:

older people
the very young
pregnant women
those with underlying disease, particularly chronic respiratory or cardiac disease
those with lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (such as steroid medication or cancer treatment)

Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, Cllr Paulette Hamilton, said: “The simple message for anyone at risk in Birmingham is get your flu jab now. It could be a lifesaver.

“It’s a mistake to think of flu as ‘just a bad cold’. It can be a really serious illness for some people and can knock you off your feet. In the most severe cases, seasonal flu might land you in hospital and can even be a killer.”

Director of Public Health, Dr Adrian Phillips, added: “Flu can increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and can make existing conditions much worse.

“The best time to be vaccinated is at the start of the flu season from September to early November, so it’s good to get in early and get flu safe in time for the winter. It’s quick, safe and free for those most at risk from the virus.”

To book your flu jab, simply contact your GP or a participating pharmacy to arrange a convenient appointment and get your jab.

For more information, speak to your GP or local pharmacist, or visit