Keep free from flu this winter

Wednesday 05 December 2012

As winter nights draw in, the common cold and flu viruses become more prevalent.

The recent cold weather is a timely reminder for people with diabetes to think about getting their seasonal influenza jab.

There's no need to miss out – the annual vaccination is free for everyone with diabetes.

Contact your GP surgery now

Cathy Moulton, Diabetes UK Clinical Advisor, said, "People with diabetes are a high-risk group when it comes to getting flu, so it is crucial that they are vaccinated as soon as possible this winter.

"Having flu can really upset diabetes control and cause blood glucose levels to fluctuate. This can leave people with diabetes open to many health problems, including complications of flu such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

"If you haven’t already been invited for a free flu jab, contact your GP surgery to find out when they are holding clinics and make sure you look after yourself during the cold weather."

Pneumonia protection

There is also a vaccination available for people at high risk of developing pneumonia, which can be given at any time of the year.

This group includes people with diabetes so, if you haven’t been offered the pneumonia protection injection, don’t be afraid to ask, as you could get it when you attend. One injection usually lasts for 10 years.

Does 'man flu' exist?

Does 'man flu' exist? How effective is the flu vaccine? And do pets keep you healthy?These are just some of the questions researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine are aiming to answer in their annual flu survey.

The researchers aim to collect information from people up and down the country, to map how the virus spreads and who it affects.

The survey only takes a few minutes. To find out more and to take part, go to flusurvey.org.uk.