It’s that time of year again when there are coughs, colds, influenza (flu) and COVID-19 going round. Residents are being encouraged to continue to take steps to stay safe this winter and help reduce the spread of infections. Things you can choose to do are:
- 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
- open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside
- try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you are unwell
- consider wearing a face covering or a face mark, particularly if you are in crowded and enclosed spaces.
Flu and COVID-19 are easily spread and have been circulating at high levels. Flu infections are also much higher than usual than for this time of year. The effects of flu and COVID-19 can be more serious if you are over 50 or have an existing health condition. Winter isn’t over yet, so if you have been offered a flu vaccine or COVID-19 booster, it is important to book in as soon as possible.
For the full list of people eligible for a free flu vaccine or COVID-19 booster and how to book, please visit the NHS website.
As well as taking up the vaccines, the NHS is reminding residents of the simple things everyone can do to stay well and help NHS services:
- Get to the help you need – There are a range of NHS services that you can get help and advice from. 111 online can quickly direct you to the right service for your medical needs
- Keep on top of your medication – To make sure you don’t run out of medication during cold weather or over the holidays, you should order and collect repeat prescriptions before they run-out and keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet.
If you are struggling, the council’s Healthy Homes Ealing service offers free advice to eligible residents on how to stay warm, conserve energy, and save money on fuel costs. You can call the free helpline on 0800 083 2265 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm) or use an online referral form.