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Infectious Disease

People underestimate danger of flu

10 years, 8 months ago

1664  0
Posted on Oct 06, 2008, 7 a.m. By Rich Hurd

People are putting their lives at risk by underestimating the seriousness of flu, so says Professor David Salisbury, who is in charge of Britain's vaccination program.


People are putting their lives at risk by underestimating the seriousness of flu, so says Professor David Salisbury, who is in charge of the United Kingdoms vaccination program.

A recent survey of more than 1,000 people revealed that many believe that flu is the same as having a bad cold. Furthermore, one in four people believed that the saying “feed a cold, but starve a fever" was good advice, and one in three people believed that vitamin C would rid them of flu. One in 20 people wrongly believe that the flu vaccination will actually give them the flu.

Professor Salisbury urges over-65s and other "at-risk" groups to ensure they get their annual flu jab. In the UK the flu jab is free to people aged 65 and over, and those with chronic conditions including heart disease, asthma and diabetes. However, last year less than half of eligible people under the age of 65 took advantage of the free vaccination.

In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that the following people should be vaccinated against the flu:

  • Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday
  • Pregnant women
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including: health care workers, people living in the same household as people at high risk for complications from the flu, and people living in the house and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age.

This year National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is December 8th – 14th 2008.

Flu confusion could cost lives. BBC Website. October 3rd 2008.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Seasonal Flu

 

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