Flu is an acute viral infection of the respiratory tract, usually characterised by a fever, chills, headache, aching muscles, joint pain and fatigue. It is a highly infectious virus different to the common cold, and spreads rapidly in closed communities, such as care homes, and even people with mild or no symptoms can infect others.
Flu kills an average of 8,000 people every year, and it can be particularly serious in older adults, very young children, and people with underlying health conditions.
This is why it is so important that our residents and staff take advantage of the free flu jab that is on offer from the NHS every year.
We work closely with our dispensing pharmacy partner, Scorah, to provide flu jabs for everyone living and working at Borough Care, with all of our residents and staff receiving the jab this October. However, with so many visitors coming to see our residents, here’s how you can help protect this vulnerable group and avoid bringing the flu to Borough Care.
Get the Jab
In 2019/20, the flu vaccination will be offered to:
- Those aged 65 years and over
- Those aged 6 months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups
- Pregnant women
- Those living in a residential or nursing home
- The main carer of an older or disabled person
- Children aged 2-3 (on 31 August 2019) and all primary school aged children
- Employers of frontline health and social care workers also have a responsibility to ensure their staff can get the free vaccine.
Not only are these groups more vulnerable to contracting flu, and suffering worse symptoms, by getting the flu jab, they will ensure they aren’t spreading the disease further.
However, even if you aren’t eligible for a flu jab, you can pay to have one done at your local pharmacy. While your immune system may be able to fight off the infection, being a carrier could have serious consequences to your more vulnerable loved ones. So, if you can have the jab, we would recommend you do so.
Keep it Clean
Other ways you can help us reduce the risk and spread of infection is good hygiene standards. These include:
- Put any used tissues in the bin immediately
- You can kill the virus by washing your hands with soap and warm water, please do so as often as possible, but especially before and during your visit.
- An alcohol-based rub is a great way to kill germs and ensure your hands are squeaky clean on the go. Convenient, handbag sized bottles available on the high street.
- If you are unwell, look after yourself, drink plenty of fluids and stay at home so you don’t spread flu to others. We are happy to arrange a phone call or Skype video call with your loved one so you can continue to stay in touch throughout your illness.
By working together this winter, we can do our very best to help protect our vulnerable residents and keep them safe and well.
If you would like more information about the flu jab, visit the NHS website.