The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is advising that this winter all individuals suffering from heart disease throughout the UK should get the flu injection.
In the UK there are 2.7 million individuals living with heart disease, and those with the disease who get an infection like the flu have a fourfold higher risk of suffering a heart attack.
Judy O’Sullivan, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the BHF explained:
“If you have heart disease and catch the flu you are at a higher risk of developing serious complications.
That’s why we’re urging heart patients across the UK to visit their GP and get the flu jab. It more than halves your risk of developing the virus, takes less than a minute and it is free. Now is the time to think ahead and protect your heart health this winter.”
Because several individuals find it hard to tell the difference between flu and common cold, the BHF has prepared a simple guide. Typical flu symptoms include:
- Blocked nose
- Cough, often dry and chesty
- Elevated body temperature
- Insomnia, problems sleeping
- Joint aches
- Muscle aches
- Poor appetite
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Stomach upset
The BHF also clears up concerns regarding if the jab can cause the flu. O’Sullivan says: “It’s a common myth that the flu jab can actually cause the flu. Let’s be clear here, the flu jab does not cause the flu because it does not contain a live virus – it just contains part of a virus. This part is enough to build up the body’s immune system to help fight the infection.”
O’Sullivan also states: “People with heart disease are eligible for the jab and the sooner they get it, the better.”
The flu symptom guide appears in the British Heart Foundation’s Heart Matters magazine.
For more data on addressing the possible risks of flu during the coming season, go to Heart Matters.
Written by Grace Rattue