Flu – initial research

Before diving into existing campaigns, i decided to look at flu in general to get a feel and idea for what this project is going to be about. For this I visited the NHS website and had a look at a few different causes and cures and what can be done about it.

Some flu symptoms include:

  • aching body
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • dry, chesty cough
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • difficulty sleeping
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhea or tummy pain
  • nausea and being sick
  • A sudden fever
  • The symptoms are similar for children, but they can also get pain in their ear and appear less active.

How to treat yourself:

  • rest and sleep
  • keep warm
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower temperature and treat aches and pains
  • drink plenty of water

In most cases, a pharmacist can help with flu by giving advice, recommendations and remedies. However its important not to take these remedies if you’re taking paracetamol or ibuprofen tablets and to seek advice before giving medicines to children. Its important to seek more help and professional advice from your GP or the NHS line if you are particularly worried about symptoms, you’re 65 or over, you’re pregnant, you have a long-term medical condition, you have a weakened immune system or if symptoms dont improve after 7 days. Antibiotics are not recommended for flu as they wont relieve symptoms. It is also recommended to call 99 or go to A&e if you develop sudden chest pains, have difficulty breathing or if you start coughing up blood.

How to avoid and prevent the spread of flu

Flu is very infectious and its most likely to spread within the first 5 days. Its spread by germs from coughs and sneezes which live on surfaces for 24 hours

 

To reduce the risk of spreading flu:

  • wash your hands often with warm water and soap
  • use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze
  • bin used tissues as quickly as possible
The flu vaccine reduces the risk of catching flu, as well as spreading it to others.

It’s more effective to get the vaccine before the start of the flu season (December to March).

Vaccinations

The flu jab is available every year on the NHS to protect people from flu. Flu can be really severe to certain groups such as the elderly, people with weakened immune systems and health conditions and pregnant women. People in these risk groups are more likely to develop serious complications of flu, so yearly vaccinations are recommended.

The injected flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS annually to:

  • adults over the age of 18 at risk of flu (including everyone aged 65 and over)
  • pregnant women
  • children aged 6 months to 2 years at risk of flu

Recently there has been a new development in Flu vaccinations via a nasal spray, this is mainly aimed at young children aged 2 and 3 and children up to year 4, as well as children who are at a risk of flu. This type of vaccination has very few side effects apart from a runny nose and is a lot less threatening and scary compared to normal vaccinations.

 The flu jab can be given at a GP surgery, a local pharmacy or midwifery services for pregnant women.  Some community pharmacies now offer flu vaccination to adults (but not children) at risk of flu including pregnant women, people aged 65 and over, people with long-term health conditions and carers. If you have your flu jab at a pharmacy, you don’t have to inform your GP – it is up to the pharmacist to do that. Serious side effects from the flu jab are rare, you can have a fever and aching muscles and soreness around the jab area.
The flu vaccine is the best protection against the virus. Studies have shown that the jab will help prevent the flu but it wont stop all of the viruses and the level of protection varies from person to person. Over time, protection from the injected flu vaccine gradually decreases and flu strains often change. So new flu vaccines are produced each year which is why people advised to have the flu jab need it every year too. The best time to have the flu jab is in the autumn from October to early November.
 

 

The flu jab for 2017/18

Each year, the viruses that are most likely to cause flu are identified in advance and vaccines are made to match them as closely as possible.

Most injected flu vaccines protect against 3 types of flu virus:

  • A/H1N1 – the strain of flu that caused the swine flu pandemic in 2009
  • A/H3N2 – a strain of flu that mainly affects the elderly and people with risk factors like a long-term health condition. In 2017/18 the vaccine will contain an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 H3N2-like virus
  • Influenza B  – a strain of flu that particularly affects children. In 2017/18 the vaccine will contain B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus

The nasal spray flu vaccine and some injected vaccines also offer protection against a fourth B strain of virus, which in 2017/18 is the B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus.

 

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Final Outcomes

Overall i am incredibly pleased with what i have produced for this project. I was able to combine new skills with old ones to create something that i didn’t know i could. Although my design isnt too complex and the idea is relatively straight forward, i still feel like i have learnt a lot of new skills throughout the project and have also made myself more aware of deforestation and the issues that surround it. I feel like my GIF serves its purpose and it gets the message across to the desired target audience. I feel like it could definitely do with some tweaking, however, considering what i have learnt and the time scale ive done it in i am pleased with the outcome.

 

Finished-GIF

Not only did i manage to make a GIF, but i also managed to add a GIF to a static image which i think worked really well. Seeing the GIF in context in the Instagram ad really pulls the whole campaign together and i feel that if it were to actually be used for its purpose it would be successful and grab peoples attention. Because its a GIF it has a lot of potential of being used in different ways, such as Facebook ads and on twitter or even through text messages using a GIF key board.

 

PHONE-GIF

Although I am very pleased with what I have produced, i feel that there are still some improvements that could be made

  • I feel that I could have come up with something a bit more powerful had i not have been ill at the beginning of this project. This meant that i started everything later then i should have and was a bit confused as to what to do. I feel like had i have started earlier i could have come up with a few better ideas rather then just sticking with my current strongest idea.
  • If i was to continue this project again i would really like to create some digital ephemera and posters to go along side this. Although GIFS are versatile, not everyone uses social media that much so it would be nice to actually produce some physical posters that could be put out in public.
  • Although my GIF is done, i feel like if i had more time it could have done with a bit more tweaking in terms of quality and timings. I need to sort out the timings to make sure that certain elements aren’t on for too long and maybe add in a few more slides to make the transitions a bit smoother.
  • Alternatively, to develop this i could turn it into an animal in after effects. Although this would be a massive challenge for me, i feel like it would produce a more professional look and also enable me to add sound to my animation.

 

Client meeting – Public Health Wales

For the second half of this module, I chose the Public Health wales brief. This brief focuses on the flu vaccine in wale and encouraging more people to get it. Theres a new vaccination for the flu which is sprayed and inhaled through the nose to reach a wider audience and target those who dont like needles. The whole idea of this brief is to encourage people to get protection from the flu and raise awareness of the importance of a vaccination before the flu season comes over winter. I chose this brief because the whole idea of illness and the causes has always really interested me. Coming from a biological background from college gives me an advantage to use some of my knowledge on viruses and bacteria to inform my design. This is also an opportunity for me to find out more about flu and its causes and cures which is a really interesting subject. The idea behind this project is also really important and therefore i feel like its important to produce a influential design which could prompt people to get the vaccination which could save lives.

After initially meeting the client, we went round the group and presented our work from the previous half of the persuasion project. He really liked the idea of my work and my peers and found it interesting that i had produced a GIF as this is not a platform that he had thought of before, so this could potentially be a good way to raise awareness that hasn’t been done before. Overall everyone’s feedback was very pleasant and positive and he seemed very excited by our work and eager to see what we could produce.

We then went on to talk about our new breif in a bit more detail. We had a very in depth discussion on different issues surrounding flu and the public health system and ways which we can help through our design – see the bullet point version below.

Issues and discussion points

  • antibiotics dont work on flu and will run out in 2050
  • antibiotic myth busting – lots of false information
  • stop using antibiotics unnecessarily
  • no money being put into developing new antibiotics
  • patients make appointments for minor things
  • these minor things dont need a prescription but they feel like they need one anyway, putting pressure on doctors to give them something
  • 50% of people have had the flu vaccination
  • How to influence staff to take vaccination – if an ill patient comes in and an un-vaccinated member of staff sees to them, cause further infection
  • flu in other country’s, develop a vaccination for it but by the time it arrives its a different strain on flu and the vaccination doesn’t work
  • sometimes people dont need antibiotics but are prescribed them anyway for underlying problems – have a viral infection that could turn bacterial, vaccination can work straight away
  • vulnerable young children and the elderly
  • some people with auto immune diseases cant have the jab
  • hoping for more uptake with nose vaccination
  • anti-vaccination campaigns – its new and people dont trust it
  • education via stats doesn’t get a response
  • who to speak to, who to get directed to

 

Potential solutions

  • needs to get attention of audience
  • main targets are staff, patients, vulnerable young children and elderly and people who haven’t had the vaccination.
  • once thinking about it – need to find a way to capitalize it
  • get people vaccinated!!
  • has to be bi-lingual – they would pay for it to be translated but for this project use google translate
  • English & welsh
  • Produce for hard of hearing
  • needs to be legible
  • 1000 lives logo – public health wales logo
  • would be found in community pharmacists and GP practices
  • multi media
  • make it easy, make it attractive, make it social and make it timely
  • dont use scare/shock tactics
  • myth busting ideas
  • look at winter 2016-17 – an evaluation of the resilience of health and care services
  • ALL NHS STAFF

 

After having such an in depth discussion with the client i now feel a little less lost and confused about the brief. For this project i will definitely need to carry out a lot of information in order for me to get my head around the subject matter and ensure i understand the situation at hand to inform my work. We covered a wide range of topics in the discussion and it will be nice to develop on some of these ideas and see what i can come up with.