Winter has arrived but, as we all know, it brings with it several frustrating common illnesses – including flu.
No-one wants to get flu – especially at this time of year. But there are a few simple tips the NHS, in partnership with the council’s public health team, is advising us all to follow to help protect ourselves and our family over the Christmas period.
The best way we can protect ourselves from getting flu is by getting a jab. In particular, anyone aged over 65, pregnant women, carers and people with long-term health conditions should get down to their local GP or pharmacist because you can get the flu jab for free.
Children aged two to four years old, or in school years 1 and 2, can get a free flu vaccination, too. It is in the form of a nasal spray which is designed to be quick, effective and painless.
Most common winter illnesses, such as a cold, sore throat, cough, sinusitis or earache cannot be treated with antibiotics. The best things to do, therefore, are to:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Have at least one hot meal a day to keep your energy levels up
- Talk to your pharmacist for advice on getting any pain relief you need such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
Another really important thing is to stay warm, both inside and outdoors. Your home should be at least 18°C (65°F). If you feel you are becoming ill, go and see your pharmacist immediately for advice. If you are prescribed any medicines it is best to keep in mind you should pick it up before Christmas Eve, because it becomes such a busy time.
You can get more information on the NHS Choices website, including how to know the difference between a cold and the ‘flu and various other tips.