Frailty in older age JSNA


The mortality rate from communicable diseases including influenza in Rochdale borough is 9.9 per 100,000 population. This is above the England rate of 9.4 (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, 2021).

What is influenza (flu)?

Flu is a common infectious disease caused by the influenza virus which is mostly spread through the air by coughing and sneezing. Although you can catch flu all year round it's most common in winter.

Flu is different to the common cold as it's caused by a different group of viruses and the symptoms start suddenly, are more severe and last longer. GPs don't recommend antibiotics for flu because they don't relieve the symptoms or speed up your recovery.

Why are older people at increased risk of flu?

Older people and other at risk populations are more likely to get complications from the flu, including pneumonia, bronchitis and sinus and ear infections. This is because the immune response may be less effective and they may have more underlying diseases than younger adults which reduce resistance to infection. This can lead to hospital admissions and in some cases prove to be fatal.

As a prevention measure, yearly vaccinations are recommended by the World Health Organisation for those in high-risk population groups. Vaccinations for flu are available from September on the NHS and protect the receiver as well as reduce the spread of the virus through the population. Vaccinations are available from GP surgeries as well as at around 30 pharmacies around the borough.

Statistics on flu

Guidance on flu