Flu season is upon us. Should you be protecting your staff?

12th November 2016
Deborah Creedy

Influenza is a complicated family of viruses that has plagued humanity for almost the entirety of our time on the planet. What we refer to lightly as ‘flu season’ is arguably a viral pandemic.

Influenza’s adaptability comes from two surface proteins, called Haemoglutinin and Neuraminidase; the ‘H’ and ‘N’ of newspaper flu panics such as H1N1, and H5N1 – the so-called Swine and Bird Flus.

These two surface proteins affect the way in which the virus bonds to surfaces of cells in the host, and can be combined in an almost infinite variety; allowing the virus supreme mutability. These changes are wrought when the virus cross species barriers, specifically between human, porcine, and avian.

Influenza is a far more serious illness than many think and it is incumbent on individuals and employers to consider immunisation provisions where appropriate.

According to the CBI, 24% of all employers carry out some form of immunisation of their workforce such as ‘flu vaccination, while 27% of employers in the private sector have taken this step.

Glasgow Medical Rooms already assist a number of Glasgow city centre businesses by administering the vaccine at employers’ places of work.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) keeps a very close eye on Hong Kong and rural areas in the Far East, where the close concentration of humans, birds and pigs creates a fertile breeding ground for influenza.

For more than six months of every year, a team of virologists and serologists analyse the strains emerging, and create vaccines to combat the three most hardy and infectious strains. This preventative cocktail is mass-produced and spread across the world in one of the most impressively diligent anti-infection efforts in human history.

Most are aware that those who are at greater risk from ‘flu – such as older people, those with chronic health conditions and children. What many do not consider is that influenza can still be dangerous to those who consider themselves fit and healthy.

The WHO efforts are intended to prevent pandemics such as the cataclysmic 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak, but, despite its efforts, influenza-like Illnesses (ILI) killed 33,685 people worldwide in the 2015/2016 ‘Flu Season’.

Glasgow Medical Rooms stands ready to help keep employees healthy and at work this ‘flu season by administering the ‘flu vaccine.

 

For further information, please contact Dr. Sheila O’Neill, Founder, Glasgow Medical Rooms, on Email: sheila@glasgowmedicalrooms.com, or phone: 0141 225 0140.

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