The UK is bracing itself for the worst winter influenza virus since 2009 and now is the right time to protect yourself with the flu jab.

Although the vaccine is very important to those who are at risk the key to stopping the virus in its tracks is preventing it from spreading, good hygiene measures are easy to practice in the office.

This includes regular hand washing with soap and hot water, using tissues to cover the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing and regularly cleaning contact surfaces such and computer keyboards, phones and door handles using antibacterial wipes.

As we have seen recently documented in the news, the strain of the virus (H3N2) which has had an impact in Australia is hitting our shores with symptoms such as joint pain, burning eyes, weakness, dry chesty cough and tenderness of the skin.

Over 600 people a year die in the UK from complications of the seasonal flu, with the threat of that number rising, medics are urging those who are most at risk to book in for the vaccine.

  • Hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial wipes are easily kept on your person for a quick fix while out and about in busy locations.

People most at risk are-  

  • 65 and over
  • Expectant mothers
  • If you suffer from a weakened immune system, including treatments for HIV or cancer
  • If you have a long-term medical condition such as – diabetes, neurological disease, heart disease, lung disease, or kidney disease

Babies over the age of 6 months with long-term health conditions are also urged to have the vaccine.

If you are already suffering from the seasonal virus, then you should consider visiting your GP if you develop chest pains, have difficulty breathing, coughing up blood or your symptoms have not improved after a week.

For those who are more vulnerable, the illness can cause potentially deadly complications such as pneumonia and asthma attacks. Making the decision on the vaccine more compelling this year.

Although the virus itself is very unpleasant, such symptoms will subside between 4 and 7 days.