Keep flu away
With the flu season in full swing, Dr Tom York, new dad and NHS-registered GP from GPDQ* has some useful advice for families.
‘To protect your family, avoid getting the flu yourself simply by boosting your immune system,’ advises Dr York. Make sure you get proper sleep and adequate vitamin D. NHS guidelines suggest breastfed babies, children aged 1-4 years and pregnant or breastfeeding women should take supplements. Avoid smoking, which suppresses the immune system, and eat a healthy diet including adequate selenium, zinc, copper, iron and vitamins A, B6, C and E.
‘The NHS offers nasal flu vaccines to children aged two to five and the injected vaccine to over-fives. Or the injected vaccine is available privately to anyone over the age of six months old’ adds Dr York. Whether to vaccinate is a hugely debated topic because of flu-like side effects. The nasal vaccine rarely causes side effects other than a slight runny nose.
Make sure the family observes good hygiene routines. Avoid cramped public spaces – and friends who have the flu! The virus can remain on surfaces for up to 24 hours so hand washing, especially before mealtimes, is a good idea.