FOR UK HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS ONLY

This section is intended for healthcare professionals and associated healthcare employees who are involved in patient care or service provision for influenza immunisation in the UK only – this includes (but is not limited to) GPs, nurses, practice managers, pharmacists, and pharmacy counter assistants.

I AM A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL OR ASSOCIATED HEALTHCARE EMPLOYEE I AM NOT A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL OR ASSOCIATED HEALTHCARE EMPLOYEE

Risks from flu in people with severe obesity

The flu causes only mild illness in most people, but can lead to hospitalisation or even death in some cases1. If you are seriously overweight and catch the flu, you may be at greater risk of developing health complications than healthy people, e.g. bronchitis or pneumonia1. Obesity may also lead to heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases3, which may worsen flu-related complications2.

 

Protecting yourself from flu

The flu viruses predominantly circulate during the winter. So you should think about how to help protect yourself as the flu season approaches, as this is when you are most vulnerable.

Vaccination is the most effective way to avoid developing the flu4, and if you are seriously overweight (BMI of 40 or above)1, you are eligible for a free flu vaccination on the NHS. You can calculate your BMI using an online BMI calculator that takes your weight, size, and other factors into account3.

Get vaccinated as soon as possible, ideally before the end of November, to ensure you’re protected right through the winter5.

 

References

  1. NHS Choices. Who should have the flu vaccine? July 2016. Available online: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/who-should-have-flu-vaccine (accessed August 2018)
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications. August 2018. Available online: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm (accessed September 2018)
  3. NHS Choices. Obesity. June 2016. Available online: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obesity (accessed August 2018)
  4. World Health Organization. Influenza (Seasonal) Fact Sheet. January 2018. Available online:http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/influenza-(seasonal) (accessed August 2018)
  5. Public Health England. National flu immunisation programme plan for 2018 to 2019. March 2018. Available online:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-flu-immunisation-programme-plan(accessed August 2018)

Adverse Event Reporting

I AM A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL OR ASSOCIATED EMPLOYEE I AM NOT A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL OR ASSOCIATED EMPLOYEE