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Don’t horse around when it comes to flu

People across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are being urged to follow in the hoof-steps of a local horse and protect ourselves against Flu this winter.

Earlier this year, the British horseracing industry was completely shut down because of equine influenza – the flu!  Now, horses like 12-year-old Karactacus Potts have to be vaccinated twice a year.

The former racehorse’s owner, Anna Collins is the Associate Director of Communication & Engagement for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and has been using the image of her horse being vaccinated, to encourage others to get theirs too.

Dr Stephen Fawcett, Medical Director – North for the CCGs, said: “It is an important message to get across, especially with the drop in temperature this week.

 “The best thing you can do to protect yourself from the flu this winter is to get vaccinated. It’s a quick and easy process that will make a big difference to your health this winter.

“Even if you’ve had the flu jab before, you need to get a new one every year, as the dominant strain of flu will change.”

The flu jab is free to certain vulnerable groups because they are more likely to be impacted by the virus so trot down to your GP surgery or local pharmacy to get vaccinated.

These groups are:

  • People over 65
  • Pregnant women
  • Carers
  • People with certain medical conditions such as diabetes or a heart condition.

Dr Fawcett added: “I would encourage you to get your flu vaccine as early on in the season as possible to make sure you’re fully protected ahead of the peak of flu season.”

Flu symptoms for humans come on very quickly and can include: 

  • a sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
  • an aching body
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • a dry cough
  • a sore throat
  • a headache
  • difficulty sleeping
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea or tummy pain
  • nausea and being sick.

Be like Karactacus Potts and help us help you keep running with full horsepower this winter.