Home HEALTH Flu: Can vitamin C supplements prevent you getting the virus?

Flu: Can vitamin C supplements prevent you getting the virus?

Flu: Can vitamin C supplements prevent you getting the virus?

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Flu symptoms can be similar to those of the common cold. A sudden fever, a dry, chesty cough, a sore throat and a headache are all signs of the flu.

Likewise, common cold symptoms are listed as a sore throat, coughs and a raised temperature.

Vitamin C has been associated in the past with helping remedy a cold. A 2013 study involving 11,000 participants found, particularly among extremely active people, taking at least 200mg of vitamin C every day can cut the risk of getting a cold in half.

So can taking vitamin C supplements help prevent you getting the influenza virus or should you opt for getting the flu jab instead?

According to the NHS vitamin C can’t prevent flu. It says: “Many people think that taking daily vitamin C supplements will stop them getting flu, but there’s no evidence to prove this.”

The best form of protection against the flu virus is the flu jab, according to health experts.

Flu jab is routinely given to children aged two and three, children in reception class and school years one to five, and children aged two to 17 years at risk of flu.

It’s also offered free of charge on the NHS to people who are at risk of catching the virus such as people aged 65 years of age or over, pregnant people, and those with certain medical conditions.

People living in a long-stay resident care home or a long-stay care facility, and those who receive a carer’s allowance or are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk, are also eligible for the free vaccine.

If you fall out the eligibility group you can still choose to get vaccinated against flu for a small cost. But when should you be thinking about getting the vaccine to make sure your protected flu season?

The NHS states the best time to have a flu vaccine is in the autumn, from the beginning of October to end of November.

But if you’ve missed getting the jab during these months you can still have it later on in winter. Your GP or pharmacist will be able to advise you on this.

The health body explains: “Flu vaccine is the best protection e have against an unpredictable virus that can cause unpleasant illness in children severe illness and death among at-risk groups, including older people, pregnant women and those with an underlying medical health condition.

“Studies have shown that the flu vaccine will help prevent you getting the flu.

“It won’t stop all flu viruses and the level of protection may vary, so it’s not a 100 per cent guarantee that you’ll be flu-free, but if you do get flu after vaccination it’s likely to be milder and shorter-lived than it would otherwise have been.

“Over time, protection from the injected flu vaccine gradually decreases and flu strains often change, So new flu vaccines are produced each year, which is why people advised to have the flu vaccine need it every year too.”

Last winter, flu wreaked havoc across the UK, with Aussie flu being one of the main flu strains circulating.

The number of people dying from flu in England and Wales reached the highest level since a devastating flu epidemic three years earlier. .

While the flu jab is the best form of protection, it’s also important to recognise the symptoms of flu so you can manage the virus correctly and stop it from spreading.

To stop the spread of flu it advises you cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and to wash your hands regularly with soap and water.

Staying a home is also a good way of avoiding the virus passing on to other people. You should consider staying off work or school for about a week.

For those unfortunate to get the virus, Dr Sarah Jarvis offered her best remedies.

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