Footballer Steven Taylor on the defence - against flu!
Magpies ace backs winter innoculation
Newcastle United ace Steven Taylor knows all about defending
The Magpies centre-half joined forces with NEAS paramedic Colin
Davison from Blucher in November to promote the annual NHS flu
Steven said: "Obviously it's important for footballers to stay
fit and healthy at this time of year because we have so many games,
and hopefully, a simple jab will see us through.
"I'd encourage as many people as possible - especially those who
might be vulnerable to illness - to have it done."
Every year in the UK, flu kills hundreds of people who are
elderly, very young or weakened by illness. NEAS takes patient
safety very seriously and encourages all of its frontline staff to
get vaccinated - helping prevent them from catching flu or passing
the virus on to patients.
Paul Liversidge, NEAS Chief Operating Officer, said: "The NHS
sees millions of patients every year whose age or poor health means
flu could have a serious impact on their lives. This is why it is
so important for those at risk to get their vaccinated."
People with underlying medical conditions and the elderly could
be particularly vulnerable to the effects of a flu virus.
Paramedic Rachael Hewitt from Monkton Station decided to have
the flu vaccine this year. Rachael explains: "I did not want to
become ill with flu and I don't want to put my family, patients or
friends at risk.
"Working as a member of frontline staff puts me into direct
contact with many patients and their families every day. At
hospitals, we are in contact with nursing staff and doctors who
have been in contact with many more. I
"I do not want to chance catching the flu virus, or becoming a
carrier and potentially passing it on."
You can catch flu - short for influenza - all year round, but it
is especially common in winter, which is why it is also
known as 'seasonal flu'.
Flu causes a sudden high temperature, headache and
general aches and pains, tiredness and sore throat.
You can also lose your appetite, feel nauseous and
have a cough.
Flu symptoms can make you feel so exhausted and unwell that you
have to stay in bed and rest until you
The flu virus is spread in the small droplets of fluid
coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person. These
droplets can travel a metre or so and infect anyone within
Flu can also spread if someone with the virus
transfers it on their fingers. For example, if you have flu and
touch your nose or eyes and then touch someone else, the virus can
Similarly, if you have flu and touch common hard surfaces
such as door handles with unwashed hands then other people can
pick up the infection.
You can stop yourself catching flu in the first place or
spreading it to others by being careful with your
Always wash your hands regularly with soap and water and:
- regularly clean surfaces such as your keyboard,
telephone and door handles to get rid of germs
- use tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or
- put used tissues in a bin as soon as possible
You can also help stop the spread of flu if
you avoid all unnecessary contact with other people while
Anyone infected with flu should stay off work until they have