Home of Ealing Council’s magazine for residents

cold and flu

Is it a cold or the ‘flu? Don’t let it get you down

Autumn and winter are on the way and, as we all know, they can bring several frustrating common illnesses – including ‘flu.

No-one wants to get ‘flu. but there are a few simple tips the NHS, in partnership with the council’s public health team, are advising us all to follow to help protect ourselves and our family over the autumn and winter months.

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 speak to their local GP or pharmacist because they may be able to get the ‘flu jab for free.

Children aged two to four years old, or in school years 1 and 2, may also be able to 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:

  • Rest
  • 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.

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.

 

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