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Hospital highlights flu risk to mark world lung health day

As winter approaches, we all need to be prepared for the health challenges the cold weather brings, but for some people winter poses more risks than most.

Andy Morris getting a flu jab

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a debilitating condition that affects the lungs and airways, making breathing difficult. Doctors at Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust are emphasising that, for people with long-term health conditions including COPD, bronchitis or emphysema, flu on top of health conditions like these can easily develop into something very serious and could land you in hospital.

World COPD Day is next Wednesday, 16 November; it is an opportunity to bring attention to the condition which affects an estimated 3 million people in the UK, according to NHS Choices.

Staff at Princess Alexandra Hospital are keen to mark the day by highlighting the need for people to be prepared for winter and encouraging patients to make sure that they are immunised against flu. Fighting flu also means making sure staff are protected, and the Trust has seen staff lining up to get vaccinated!

Professor Nancy Fontaine, Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive, said: "People want to stay out of hospital, so we are highlighting the NHS campaign Stay Well this Winter to help you protect yourself - and being immunised is a first step in fighting flu. We would encourage all at risk groups to have the free vaccination.

"As well as people with COPD, at-risk groups are people with diabetes; heart kidney or liver disease or those who have suffered a stroke. Anyone in this group can have a free vaccination.  It's an important, easy way to stay well this winter and you can get it at your GP or in selected pharmacies.

"Our message is: Don't put off getting the flu vaccination.  If you're eligible get it now. It's free because you need it."

To find out more about how you can stay well this winter,  click here.