With autumn on its way – and winter therefore not far behind – several frustrating, common illnesses tend to return to our lives at this time of year, including many catching a cold or the flu.
You can often treat a cold or the flu without seeing a GP and there are a few simple tips the NHS, in partnership with the council’s public health team, are advising us all to follow.
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
- You can also buy cough and cold medicines from supermarkets. However, a pharmacist can advise you on the best medicine.
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.
Flu is an unpredictable virus that and can be unpleasant, but if you are otherwise healthy it will usually clear up on its own within a week or two
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 to find out if 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.
The NHS website gives you advice on whether you might be eligible for a flu jab, as well as tips for dealing with flu – and for dealing with a cold.