Wednesday, 11 November 2015

World diabetes - the importance of the flu jab

World Diabetes Day - Get A Flu Jab
This week's World Diabetes Day (14 November) is a timely reminder to all those with diabetes to protect themselves this winter with a free flu jab.

Those with diabetes (types 1 and 2) have a hard time fighting flu if it’s caught.  The virus can put added stress on the body affecting blood sugar levels.  Even those who manage their diabetes well can be at risk of serious complications from flu, resulting in hospitalisation and in some cases it can be fatal.

In 2014 the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK grew to more than 3.2 million.  It’s likely we all know someone with diabetes who we want to be safe and well over winter. 

Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Catching flu can make diabetes worse because the immune system is less able to fight infections.  This can make it harder to control your blood sugars, causing them to rise or fall and increases the chance of serious health problems, such as pneumonia.  

"To be fully protected you need to be vaccinated every year because the virus can change and the previous year's vaccine may not offer the right protection against the virus in circulation this year. The flu jab cannot give you flu as there are no live viruses in the vaccine.

"I would urge all those with diabetes to make an appointment with their GP practice for their free flu jab."

For more information visit the Healthy Suffolk flu page

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