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'Flu almost killed me last winter'



Adam BlackmanImage copyright
Adam Blackman

A father who almost died a week before his son's first birthday urged people to get immunizations against the flu this winter.

Last winter, Adam Blackman didn't bother getting an injection and contracting influenza.

The virus triggers a life-threatening asthma attack. He spent more than a month in the hospital recovering.

He said he was "learning the hard way" about how dangerous the flu is and why people should have a vaccine.

The virus that causes flu can mutate and change every year, so you need to get immunizations every year to be protected.

Blackman, 47, from East Sussex, said that he underestimated how risky the flu was.

While many people who are infected will recover within a week or so, the flu can be deadly to others, especially those in risk groups.

  • The flu killed 50 million
  • Teenagers die after contracting the flu virus

British asthma says colds and flu are the most common causes of asthma.

In Blackman's case, it caused pneumonia and collapsed lungs and meant he had to go into a coma for a week in the hospital.

"I have asthma and my body can't handle it," he said.

"I actually thought I would die before the ambulance arrived here.

"It was almost a disaster for me, but my friends and family were also at risk.

"My sister-in-law who suffered from asthma soon afterward and ended up in the hospital too.

"I learned the hard way that flu can be life threatening.

"I was connected to a life support machine and put in isolation so that the flu did not spread.

"Given how flu can be transmitted, I would urge everyone to get a flu vaccine so that they don't have to go through the hell that I went through.

"I don't risk anymore and have got a flu vaccine.

"I urge all people who suffer from asthma to get it as soon as possible.

"That can save your life."

You can get a free vaccine at the NHS if you:

  • 65 or older
  • pregnant
  • someone with certain medical conditions, including asthma, heart disease or diabetes
  • live in a long-term care facility or home
  • primary guard for the elderly or disabled
  • a child aged two to 10 years

Many pharmacies and supermarkets also have flu vaccine services for customers.


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