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Team effort exposes ‘naked’ facts on flu

19 January 2018
Cambridge University Hospitals has teamed up with a popular BBC show to further spread the message that it’s really important to get a flu jab.

Radio Cambridgeshire’s Naked Scientist, which broadcasts at 6pm every Sunday, has produced a podcast that CUH is promoting on its website and via social media channels.Naked Scientist Dr Chris Smith
Narrated by Naked Scientists Khalil Thirlaway and Connie Orbach, it makes it plain that having a flu jab is the best thing you can do to protect yourself this winter.

Quizzed by a sceptical Connie, Khalil walks listeners through a fascinating array of facts about flu – including that it can exist outside the body on things like door handles for up to two days.
Khalil explained: “Each flu virus is a tiny particle, about one ten-thousandth of a millimetre across. They look a little like spikey footballs, only much smaller. The spikes are the molecules the virus uses to stick on and invade you. The virus tricks a cell into mistakenly thinking it’s a friend and the virus is allowed to enter.

“Once inside the virus drops its disguise and releases its genetic material, which hi-jacks the cell, shutting down all its normal processes and turning the cell into a flu factory capable of producing hundreds or even thousands of new virus.”
Show managing editor and virologist, Dr Chris Smith, said: “Our team wanted to get the message across that it’s really important to get a flu jab – but it helps if people understand what flu is and how it works.

“Connie and Khalil have worked really hard on this podcast which is entertaining to listen to, but also shares some really interesting and important messages about the virus.”

The podcast comes as CUH, which ran a Flubusters campaign to encourage staff to get a jab, continues to see high levels of flu. Only two visitors per patient are currently permitted, to keep infection risk to a minimum. Patients are urged to use hand sanitizers at the entrance to each ward, or wash their hands in the nearby sinks. Children should not visit unless agreed with the wards in advance.If you have coughs, colds and flu-like symptoms, rest at home and drink plenty of fluids.  If you have concerns, particularly with relation to children or the elderly, or those with long-term conditions consult your GP or NHS 111 before coming to A&E.You can listen to the podcast, or learn more about getting a flu jab, by following the links below.