Warning to those at risk from flu

4:18pm Tuesday 24th December 2013

HEALTH officials in Wales are urging all those in ‘at risk’ group to protect themselves against flu this winter. Those aged 65 or over, pregnant women and those with long-term health conditions to follow the Catch It. Bin It, Kill It message over the festive period.

Experts are wary that flu could start circulating at any time, especially for those meeting in large groups of people, or travelling a lot over the holidays.

Dr Richard Roberts, head of the vaccine preventable diseases programme at Public Health Wales, said: “For most healthy people, influenza (or ‘flu’) is usually an unpleasant, but uncomplicated illness, which usually means a few miserable days at home.”

“However, for those in ‘at risk’ groups flu can sometimes result in serious complications, and can even be life threatening. Because we haven’t seen a serious outbreak of flu for a number of years, people can forget how serious flu can be.”

Dr Roberts said those who aren’t protected should follow some simple steps to reduce their risk of catching flu:

“Every time you sneeze or cough, catch it in a clean tissue and then immediately throw it in the bin, and clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.

“Once flu is spreading widely, apart from vaccination, hygiene is the only method that can help prevent spread.”

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