Nursing Personnel are advising all agency nurses and healthcare workers to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible this winter. The vaccine is widely available and is a preventative measure.
Nurses are being advised by the RCN to get the flu vaccine as they have a professional responsibility to prevent the spread of the flu to vulnerable clients and patients. The RCN are advising their members through social media.
Below is some factual information on the flu that may be of interest.
Influenza, commonly known as “the flu”, is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus. Symptoms can be mild to severe. The most common symptoms include: high fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, coughing, sneezing, and feeling tired.
These symptoms typically begin two days after exposure to the virus and most last less than a week. The cough, however, may last for more than two weeks.
Frequent hand washing reduces the risk of viral spread.
Vaccines are tailored each year to protect against the most common circulation strains
Hence the reason for requiring annual vaccination
Front line health workers are much more likely to be exposed particularly during the winter months. as they will come into contact with patients who are infected.
As many as 1:4 staff may become infected during a mild outbreak.
Three Pandemics during the 20th Century
1918 Spanish Flu 50 million deaths
1957 Asian Flu 2 million deaths
1968 Hong Kong Flu 1 million deaths
2009 H1N1 ( Swine Flu) 17,000 deaths.
Our advice is simple, protect yourself, your family, your patients and your colleagues.
For more information or if you are concerned please contact Catherine Patterson clinical nurse manager at Nursing Personnel.