‘Winter is coming, a war on flu is needed’ urges senior surgeon

As the NHS prepares for the impending pressures of the winter months, a leading Teesside orthopedic surgeon has issued a rallying plea to the public to be prepared.

Whilst the health care sector across Teesside and the surrounding areas action implementation of their winter plans, Chris Tulloch from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust made the appeal for those who require one, to ‘get their flu jab’.

Talking about the importance of ‘at risk’ groups and his own colleagues within the Trust having their jab, he compares the annual battle with flu with some pretty stark statistics ‘every year we issue the same messages about the importance of having a flu jab. For health care professionals – on the front line and beyond we advise it to be absolutely crucial. How can we look after and support those in our care, if we are not protected in the first instance? Equally, those who need protection within our communities have a responsibility to attend their vaccination appointments. It really is the old adage that prevention is better than cure.

Mr Tulloch explains his position ‘On the first day of the Somme there were 19,240 British and 6,000 German deaths. By the end of the battle the death toll was 300,000. The first world war resulted in 10 million military and 6 million civilian deaths.

The 1918 Spanish flu outbreak has been one of the deadliest epidemics in human history with around five percent of the earth’s population dying at the time.

By comparison, some quick analysis of today’s vital statistics, non-vaccination could result in a potential 80 million deaths – a mortality rate of 3-4% of the world’s population’.

Tulloch continues ‘my comparisons may seem sensationalist, but needless deaths for simply not having a vaccination is so futile. Importantly, it’s the risk not having the jab presents to others too. The NHS is working harder than ever to manage population health; it is the avoidable illnesses that place unnecessary pressure on the system’

For more information about the flu vaccination visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/

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