Southampton NHS Treatment Centre pledges to tackle flu this winter
Southampton NHS Treatment Centre are tackling flu this winter by offering a free flu vaccination to all their colleagues. They are encouraging all patients and visitors are get their vaccination before visiting the hospital, to help make the treatment centre a flu free zone.
“If you’re due for surgery it is safe to have your flu jab beforehand, provided it is at least two weeks before you are due to come to hospital,” said Andrew Oakerbee, acting director at Southampton NHS Treatment Centre. It is also safe to have a flu vaccination after surgery, but the advice is to leave it for at least two weeks after discharge.
He added: “We are encouraging all our patients and visitors to be vaccinated before they visit us, and we have offered every single member of staff a free flu shot. This way, we aim to avoid flu throughout the busy winter period so that we avoid unnecessary cancellations of procedures.”
The care team at Southampton NHS Treatment Centre advises people to take action if they experience the early signs of flu, which include a cough, sore throat, general aches and pains and a fever of above 38ºC. They also advise 7 things to do to fend off flu:
- Get vaccinated. Many people qualify for a free flu vaccination, but even if you do not the costs are not prohibitive and are a good investment for a flu-free winter. Get a vaccination every year, because strains of flu change over time and the effect of the vaccination can wear off after three to four months.
- Think clean. More bugs are spread through handshakes than kissing, so make sure you wash your hand thoroughly and regularly especially after coming into contact with someone with flu.
- Keep it covered. Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing – a sneeze or a cough can spread the flu virus further than you might think
- Chuck it. If you have used a tissue, put it in the bin immediately and clean your hands with a sanitiser afterwards
- No sharing. Wherever possible, avoid sharing crockery, cutlery and towels with other people
- Clean surfaces. Make sure that surfaces in frequent use, such as phones, keyboards and door handles, are cleaned regularly to avoid spreading the flu virus
- Stay at home. If you have flu symptoms, stay at home to avoid spreading the virus. Mild flu or cold symptoms can be treated at home.
It is worth remembering that colds and flu are caused by viruses, so cannot be treated with antibiotics which are designed for bacterial infections.