WITH the winter months well and truly upon us, people are urged to remember to ‘Catch It, Bin It, Kill It’ to help battle the spread of flu.

In the wake of an early start to the flu season this year, Public Health England is activating its Catch It, Bin It, Kill It campaign to encourage people to use a tissue and wash their hands to help stem the disease’s spread.

In addition to getting vaccinated against the flu, people are told to catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw it in the bin and wash their hands as quickly as possible.

Dr Julie Yates Screening and Immunisation Lead for Public Health England South West said: “Flu season has now started and so it’s really important that people get their flu vaccine as soon as possible to ensure they are protected against this potentially very serious illness.

“Flu is very infectious and spread by germs from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.

“To reduce the risk of spreading flu, use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands often with warm water and soap, and bin used tissues as quickly as possible.

Catch it. Bin it. Kill it.”

The latest Public Health England data shows that GP appointments for flu-like illnesses are on the rise and that there is a moderate impact level on hospitals from the disease.

The organisation points out that there is an increased risk of the illness as the nation celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year.

The symptoms of flu include fever, chills, headaches, aching muscles, joint pain and fatigue.

While the condition can make healthy people feel exhausted and unwell and leave them bed-bound, it can cause serious and potentially deadly problems for older people, young children and people with other health problems.

Those in the various eligible groups are urged to get vaccinated, as soon as possible.

Further information about the programme can be found at nhs.uk/fluvaccine