Flu Myth Busters
Local NHS bust flu myths as number of cases set to rise this winter
With the cold weather taking hold, it's time to get a flu jab if you haven’t already done so.
Every year, millions of people are struck down by the flu - something that can easily be prevented by getting the vaccination. For the over 65s, under 5s, pregnant women or people with a long term condition such as asthma or diabetes, getting struck down with flu can be serious, with added complications.
Data from Public Health England shows that GP consultations for flu-like illnesses rose by 24% in recent weeks, while the impact of flu on hospitals is increasing.
Dr Fahad Rizvi, a Leicestershire GP said: “We’re urging anyone who is eligible to receive a flu jab to get booked in with their GP practice or community pharmacy to keep themselves safe and healthy as the temperature continues to drop.
"The best thing you can do to protect yourself, and your loved ones, from the flu this winter is to get vaccinated. It's a quick and easy process that will make a big difference to your health.
"Even if you've had the flu jab before, you need to get a new one every year, as the dominant strain of flu will change."
There are plenty of myths surrounding the flu jab, with many thinking it can even give them flu (this is completely wrong), so healthcare professionals across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland have got together to bust some of the most commonly believed myths about the jab.
Myth 1: Flu is just like a bad cold
Flu can be much worse than a heavy cold. Symptoms often come on suddenly and can be severe, including fever, chills, headaches and aching muscles, as well as a cough and sore throat. Flu can even leave you bedridden for two or three days while your body fights the virus. If you get complications caused by flu, you could become seriously ill and have to go to hospital.
Myth 2: The flu vaccine can give you flu
The flu vaccine given to adults contains inactivated flu viruses, so it cannot give you flu. After your injection your arm could feel a bit sore and some people can get a slight temperature and aching muscles for a few days afterwards, but this is not flu. The children's nasal spray flu vaccine contains live, but weakened, flu viruses, but they have been weakened enough that they will not give your child flu.
Myth 3: I had the vaccine last year so don't need it this year
The viruses that cause flu can change every year, so you need a vaccination that matches the new viruses each year. The vaccine usually provides protection for the duration of that year's flu season only.
Myth 4: Children don't need the vaccination
The nasal spray flu vaccine is recommended on the NHS for all healthy two and three-year-olds, plus children in primary school. In addition, children "at risk" of serious illness if they catch flu are eligible for a flu vaccine on the NHS. This includes children with a pre-existing illness, such as a respiratory or neurological condition, and children who are having treatment that weakens their immune system, such as chemotherapy.
The flu vaccine is generally given as an injection to children aged 6 months to 2 years and as a nasal spray to children aged 2 to 17 years who have a long-term health condition.
Myth 5: I'm pregnant, so shouldn't have the flu jab
You should have the vaccine no matter what stage of pregnancy you're at. If you're pregnant, you could get very ill if you get flu, which could also be bad for your baby.
Having the vaccine can also protect your baby against flu after they're born and during the early months of life.
Myth 6: December is too late to have the vaccine
Even in December, it is not too late to have the flu vaccine. Bosses at the NHS say you should take up the offer of the flu vaccine when it becomes available.
The local NHS also have a message to anyone who has not yet opted to have a flu jab. Dr Rizvi continues: “It’s really important that as many people as possible get a flu jab because it protects more than just you. It also reduces the risk for your family, friends, colleagues, and everyone else around you.
“When lots of people in an area are vaccinated, fewer people get sick. As a result of this, fewer germs are around to spread from person to person. This is called herd immunity, or community immunity. So, even if you don’t think that flu poses a serious risk to you, if you come down with flu you could still be posing a significant risk to vulnerable people around you.”
For more information, visit the local NHS winter website: www.bettercareleicester.nhs.uk/help-us-help-you/winter-flu
NOVOVIRUS / Winter Sickness Bug - The number of people presenting at GP surgeries and hospitals with norovirus (winter sickness bug) is starting to increase. Norovirus (winter sickness bug) is a common viral infection which causes forceful vomiting and diarrhoea. It spreads easily, particularly in areas where there are lots of people. Sickness bugs can lead to dehydration, which can be very serious for those who are young, frail or already unwell.
The best defence against the virus is good hand hygiene, washing hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food. Ensuring any surfaces which may have been contaminated are disinfected will also help.
What you should do
If you have symptoms of norovirus, you should:
• avoid direct contact with other people and preparing food for others until at least 48 hours after your symptoms have disappeared. You may still be contagious, even though you no longer have sickness or diarrhoea.
• avoid visiting hospitals, care homes and GP practices if you have had the typical symptoms of norovirus in the past 48 hours. Some may request you avoid visiting completely if you've had symptoms within the past 72 hours. Norovirus is more serious and even more easily spread among people who are already ill or elderly.
• If you think you need medical attention, please call your GP before visiting, or if they are closed phone NHS 111, who will be able to get you the care you need.
• For more information on how you can help prevent the spread of nasty bugs this winter visit www.bettercareleicester.nhs.uk/help-us-help-you/norovirus/
Changes to our Online Appointment Booking System
We have recently reviewed our appointment booking system following patient survey results and feedback and have changed the system for the on-line booking of appointments. Patients will no longer need to log online after 4pm today to get an appointment tomorrow. Available appointments are loaded on the on-line system and will now be available as soon as they are loaded. We hopes this makes the system simpler and easier to use.
Changes to the Online Services
You can now view your summary information and detailed coded records via Online Services. Please click here to view the leaflet or ask at reception for more information.
New Emergency Department now open, please see documents for more information
LRI Site Map
Accessing ED at LRI
Friends and Family test is now LIVE
If you are a patient, or carer/relative of a register patients, you can now let us know how you rated your most recent experience of care here at the practice- just two short questions. Click here if you'd like to do this.
Keep Antibiotics Working
Keep Antibiotics Working
Antibiotics are medicines that treat bacterial infections by killing or preventing the spread of infections. They are only prescribed when:
- conditions are unlikely to clear up without them
- the condition could spread to others
- antibiotics could significantly speed up recovery
- the illness is serious.
Antibiotics are not prescribed for viral infections such as colds or flu because they are not effective in fighting these types of illnesses. Viral infections can be treated with a combination of self-care and over-the-counter medicines.
The message to local people, therefore, is that it is hugely important to use antibiotics properly, to keep yourself well this winter. Always make sure that your antibiotics have been prescribed to you, that you are taking the recommended dose and that they are in date.
If you have any questions about any of your antibiotic prescriptions, you should visit your local pharmacist. They will be able to answer any questions you have and give you advice.
If you believe that you have a bacterial infection, we recommend that you call NHS 111 or visit your local pharmacist for advice.
What you can do to help
- Don’t automatically ask for antibiotics, first seek advice from your pharmacist for over the counter medicines.
- If you are prescribed antibiotics, take them exactly as described, never save them for later and never share them with others.
- Spread the word – tell family and friends about antibiotic resistance. You can also become an antibiotic guardian.
- Tweet and share #KeepAntibioticsWorking
To watch the 'Keep Antibiotics Working YouTube video click here.
Flu information for Children aged 2, 3 or 4
Flu vaccinations are now available at the surgery for 2, 3 and 4 year olds. Leaflets are available in the surgery explaining about the vaccination.
Information is available by clicking here.
You can speak to one of the nurses if you have any further questions.
Please contact the surgery to book an appointment with the nurse for your child's vaccination as soon as possible.
How are your health records used?
Click here to see information regarding this.
Information Sharing and your Health records
Please click here for more information.
When should I worry about my child?
Click here for more advice about when to worry if your child is not very well.
NHS Health checks
Did you know that if you are between the ages of 40 and 74 you are eligible for a free NHS Health check. This is basically like an MOT to help prevent chronic disease.
Please contact the surgery on 0116 2227272 if you would like more information about this.