Dr Janet Hegarty of Salford Royal Foundation Trust warns of a recent increase in the number of kidney patients admitted to hospital with ‘flu and reminds everyone to get their ‘flu jab as soon as possible.
This is a quick note to let you know that there has been an increase in ‘flu’ cases locally and nationally. We have unfortunately had several kidney patients ill in Salford Royal with flu in the last week. What we do know this year so far, is that the flu strain we are seeing (H1N1) is definitely covered by the current vaccine you can get at your GP surgery.
Here at SRFT and on our dialysis units and clinics we are starting a drive to check in with both staff and patients and get any ‘missing’ people vaccinated as soon as possible due to the recent cases we have seen.
So if it’s one of those things that you meant to do but didn’t get round to, or you were put off by the news reports from last year that the vaccine wasn’t effective against the most common strain – please take this opportunity to protect yourself by booking in and getting vaccinated ASAP. It takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for protection to set in.
Uncomplicated flu gives stuffy/runny noses, temps causing hot/cold or shivers and shakes, headache, muscle aches and joint aches. A complicated flu can make you ill enough to need admission to hospital with shortness of breath, and a productive cough. As a kidney patient you are generally thought to be at risk, as are the over 65s, pregnant and those with diabetes. If you are on immunosuppressives you may be more vulnerable to flu virus. So if you do think you have developed flu-like symptoms and you are on immunosuppressives we strongly recommend you see your GP within 48 hours to be started on anti-viral treatment in the community.
If you want more advice please contact your kidneycare team or GP practice
Dr Janet Hegarty
Consultant in Kidney Medicine
Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust