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Flu vaccination in Cork – fighting flu this winter

Let’s fight flu in Cork this winter 2020 with the flu vaccine

 

As local and national media reports this January, there has been a particularly bad outbreak of flu across Ireland this winter 2020.  This season’s flu outbreak is placing unprecedented demands on our hospitals. Overcrowded wards and record use of trolleys in hospitals have prompted Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to respond in the media, reminding us of the importance of taking the vaccine. Mr Varadkar, together with Minister for Health Simon Harris, said that hospital overcrowding was exacerbated by a ‘very severe flu season’ (combined with a shortage of hospital beds).

 

‘Taking the flu vaccine is the right thing to do to protect others, our family and ourselves’ – Pricilla Lynch, Head of Services, Health and Wellbeing Cork.

 

As January annually brings heightened pressure on emergency departments and healthcare services, we want to help to fight flu in Cork by providing advice on how you can avoid catching the dreaded flu this winter. Here in this article, we offer simple tips to avoid flu and advice on the best things to do if you’re unlucky enough to fall ill this winter in Cork.

 

In the 2017/2018 influenza season, at least 100 children were hospitalised across Cork and Kerry because of the flu, while sadly at least 24 people died in the two counties. – Jennie Synnott, Influenza Lead, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare.

 

What is flu?

Flu is a viral infection. Although it has become common for people to use the term ‘flu’ to refer to many types of mild illness, a genuine bout of flu is a different case altogether. Flu outbreaks in Ireland typically occur from late autumn to early winter. However, you can catch flu at any time of year.

 

How do you know if you’ve got flu?

Influenza (flu) symptoms are usually much worse than a simple cold and they last a lot longer. Despite misconceptions, flu does not usually cause vomiting or diarrhoea in adults. You may have flu if you’re showing any of the following common symptoms –

  • Fever
  • Aching body
  • Headache
  • Dry cough and/or a dry sore throat
  • Feeling unusually tired and less hungry

 

Flu symptoms are typically at their worst for three or four days. Usually, it takes one to four days for symptoms to appear after you’ve been in contact with someone who has the virus. It can take up to a fortnight to fully recover.

Flu vaccinations in Cork

 

Cork Community Healthcare Flu Vaccination Promotion

Each year, local healthcare organisations, such as Cork Community Healthcare, work to encourage healthcare workers and local people to take-up the free flu vaccinations offered across Cork. Back in 2018, staff at Cork Community Healthcare produced a short video explaining why they take the life-saving flu vaccine and why you should too.

Please take a couple of minutes to watch the video to learn more about why the flu vaccine is so important to keep you and your family protected – watch Flu Vaccinations by Cork Community Healthcare video.

 

Why you should get a flu vaccination

As the promotional video linked above explains, influenza kills and causes serious illness. Taking the flu vaccine is the most effective way to protect ourselves from getting flu, and in turn, to prevent us from spreading the virus to others.

  • Getting the flu vaccine every year is the best way to avoid catching the virus.
  • 70% to 90% percent of people vaccinated avoid catching flu.
  • At-risk groups and healthcare workers are particularly urged to take vaccination.
  • Even if you’re not showing any symptoms at the time, you could be spreading flu to others. Vaccinations are the best way to prevent the spread.
  • Healthcare services in Ireland struggle to keep up with demand at certain times of year, such as during winter and in January particularly. Protecting ourselves from flu is socially responsible, to minimise the chances of us needing to use our GP or hospital services.

 

It’s easy to get a free flu vaccination in Cork

To find your local vaccination clinic call 021-4922018 (Cork University Hospital). You can also contact us here at Irwin’s pharmacy by calling 021-430 4165. Our friendly pharmacy team are happy to give local people in Cork advice about flu vaccinations.

 

Which groups are considered ‘high-risk’ in relation to flu?

People who are considered as high-risk groups are – people who have: chronic lung, heart, kidney, liver, or neurological disease; people whose immune system is reduced by disease or medications; people with diabetes mellitus; people aged 65 years and older; children under 5 (children under 2 are at particular risk of influenza); people on medication for asthma, severely obese people (body mass index more than 40) and pregnant women.

If you fall into one of the groups listed above, it’s particularly important that you take the flu vaccine.

For any advice about flu, vaccinations or other healthcare issues, call 021-430 4165 now. Your friendly local pharmacy team at Irwin’s Pharmacy are happy to give local people in Cork the healthcare advice you need.

 

What should you do if you’ve got flu?

As flu causes mostly moderate illness, most people recover at home without needing anti-viral medicine but by taking plenty of rest and drinking plenty of fluids. However, if you feel particularly ill or if you’re in a high risk group, you should contact your GP immediately. You can also call us here at Irwin’s pharmacy on 021-430 4165 and our pharmacists would be happy to give you advice.