People often ask whether flu vaccinations give protection against pandemic flu. Pandemics are caused by flu viruses that are completely new. Whereas in most infections you are exposed to, your immune system is immediately suspicious that this new thing is an enemy and doesn't take long to produce antibodies, if you are exposed to a completely new type of virus that doesn't appear suspicious, then your immune system is not primed and is much slower to respond. By the time it does, you are very ill indeed. Pandemics were caused amongst the indigenous Americans by our normal viruses when Europeans first visited the Americas because they had not been exposed to them before. In 1918 a new virus appeared to arrive from nowhere and killed more people than the First World War; we still do not know its origin.
Do flu vaccinations work and what are the risks?
The greatest risk is animal viruses as they will not be recognised by our immune systems. For this reason, bird or avian flu kills a up to half the people who contract it and it is mutating all the time and will be able to spread from human to human before long; indeed the first human-to-human case has recently occurred in China. In both the above examples, poverty and the absence of modern treatments made them worse than they would be now. We can also take some comfort in the reduced virulence of mutated viruses. However, there can be no doubt that an avian flu pandemic would kill many thousand people in this country and it is worse amongst the young. It is agreed that it is a matter of when not of whether an avian flu pandemic strikes. Seasonal flu vaccination is a self-funding programme as the reduction in sickness absence that comes with flu vaccination has been shown to more than pay for the vaccination programme. Does it also prime your immune system against pandemic influenza? We do not yet know which strain will cause a pandemic so this is hard to answer. However, seasonal flu vaccine includes H1N1 which is one of the strains we are worried about. We also know that people who have been exposed to more strains have had better-primed immune systems in past outbreaks. Therefore there is good reason to believe that seasonal flu vaccination is likely to help. Large companies have business continuity plans to try and keep the company going during a pandemic. The Government also has contingency plans in place with business continuity planning for the emergency services and with reactive support for the general population. Doctorcall are experts in influenza in relation to business continuity planning both in relation to seasonal influenza and pandemic flu. The Doctorcall on-site flu vaccination programme is the main occupational health flu programme in the UK. Doctorcall was the first OH provider to offer mass flu vaccination in the work place and is also a recognised expert in pandemic planning.
Doctorcall's very own Doctor Christien Jessen has appeared in the Tatler Doctor's guide 2013. Widely seen as the guide that features the leading medical professionals, we are proud to have him on our team.
Doctor Christian can help you with general medical advice, sexual health issues and Botox treatments. To book an appointment with Doctor Christian at our Harley Street clinic, call us on 0844 257 0346.
It’s quite true; there is no business like it.
This week sees the launch of the Manchester International Festival: a bi-annual celebration where artists from all walks of life showcase their talents in an 18 day extravaganza. Because of our links in the past with theatre companies, musical theatre, film and media, City Physio and Doctorcall have been asked to look after the performers for this year’s festival. Check out this years line up and get out and do something less boring instead… www.mif.co.uk
We’re only just past mid summer night and the year has been more like a dream than a Shakey one (groan). Our staff was fortunate enough to look after The Lion King when it came to town. When their regular physio was taken ill for a month, Bob and Nick stepped into the breach to work with their performers pre-show and help them with any rehabilitation that was necessary. Having seen the show (perk), it’s no wonder they had some of the problems they presented with. A fine piece of entertainment too. Even if I nearly taught the kids a few new words when the hyena unexpectedly pounced on me from behind!
We have supported The Royal Exchange for over 10 years now. It can sometimes be quite a challenge to keep the actor in their role despite their ailment. It’s true that they will act with almost any level of pain. The show really does go on. Although in this job it does seem a little inappropriate to suggest that they “break a leg”.
“Here at the Royal Exchange Theatre we have engaged the services of Doctorcall and City Physio for a number of years. The staff is extremely tuned in to the way we work and the environment of live theatre – this can be very hard to come by. In addition, the standard of service is first class and positive results are always seen. The central location is also key to the success of Doctorcall, precious time in the schedule of an actor isn’t wasted by driving out of town. Nick Syrett and the staff care about their patients which is key for me.”
Lee Drinkwater- Company Manager @ The Royal Exchange.
Nick even “consulted” on a small piece during Orpheus Descending whilst on at the Royal Exchange. There was a scene in which one of the actors had the lead in an osteopathic “clinch”. The director wanted some authenticity on the technique so we got the call. Not your typical day…
This November, the highly acclaimed “War Horse” comes to town for 3 months at The Lowry. Nick was asked to assess the physical health of some of its actors in preparation for the 18 month tour. Any ready for the Knackers yard need not apply…
This year has also seen us look after The Stone Roses as part of the UK leg of their World tour. Proof that physio can be Rock n Roll. Of course, we don’t just see A-listers here. All are welcome. But if you think we have become a little more theatrical and dramatic about things since you last saw us, you know why.