People with a heart or lung condition are urged to get their free flu jab, to help them stay well this winter.
Five flu facts:
People in a clinical risk group, such as those with a heart or lung condition, are four to five times more likely to be admitted to hospital with the flu.
Last winter nearly 10,000 people were hospitalised because of flu in the UK, and there were an estimated 15,969 deaths.
Of these deaths, it is estimated that around 2,500 are people with a heart condition. People with a heart condition are approximately 11 times more likely to die if they catch flu than individuals who have no other underlying health condition
Of these deaths, it is estimated that around 3,500 are people with a respiratory condition. Every eight minutes someone is hospitalised in UK because of an asthma attack, with 81% of people saying their symptoms get worse when they have a cold or flu.
Simply getting the flu jab reduces the risk of becoming seriously ill and a potential hospital visit.
Don’t become one of these statistics this year; take advice from NHS England’s medical director for Cumbria and the North East, Professor Chris Gray:
“If you have a heart or lung condition you have a greater risk of becoming more seriously ill from flu than others. Flu on top of health conditions like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis, emphysema or heart disease increases your chance of serious health complications and a hospital visit.
“Even if conditions are mild and symptoms are controlled, there is evidence that heart and asthma attacks happen more often during or immediately after inflammatory illnesses, such as flu.
“It takes up to two weeks for you to be protected by the vaccine, so get the jab as soon as possible to protect yourself, your friends and family. Keep yourself well this winter, and every winter by getting vaccinated.”
The flu jab really is the safest way to protect yourself - it’s free because you need it!
Find out more information about the flu vaccine website on the NHS website.