Keep Flu, Coughs, and Colds at bay this winter

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With a rise in the number of people with flu in winter, NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly are promoting some simple tips to keep the flu, coughs, and colds at bay and help people stay healthy and well.

In the colder months we are all more vulnerable to flu, coughs and generally feeling under the weather. Winter bugs can make you feel rotten, but you can usually recover by staying at home in the warm with some over the counter medication.

Simple tips to keep the Flu, Coughs, and Colds at bay

  1. Wash your hands frequently throughout the day. If you have small children, wash their hands often throughout the day. This is especially important before eating, after using the loo, and after being in public places. You can also use hand sanitizer if you don’t have access to soap and water, but it won’t be effective against other illnesses such as norovirus.
  2. Make sure to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. Lack of sleep and dehydration can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to catch illnesses.
  3. Have any vaccinations you are eligible for. The flu and covid vaccines can help protect you from getting sick and spreading the viruses to others. Dr Chris Reid, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board said “When you’re feeling under the weather, remember to rest, stay warm and keep hydrated. Paracetamol and ibuprofen can help make you more comfortable. “If you have got symptoms of an infectious illness, please keep away from people who are vulnerable, especially hospitals and care homes. Remember, a pharmacist can give treatment advice and recommend flu remedies. GPs do not recommend antibiotics for flu as they don’t work on viral infections and they won’t relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.

Do I need to see a doctor?

Most people are able to look after themselves at home but do contact your GP or advice by calling NHS 111 or online if you are:

  • Aged 65 or over.
  • You’re pregnant.
  • You have a long-term medical condition – for example, diabetes or a condition that affects your heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, or nerves.
  • You have a weakened immune system – for example, because of chemotherapy or HIV.
  • Your symptoms do not improve after 7 days.
  • You’re worried about your baby’s or child’s symptoms.

For advice in ‘where is best’ this winter for health and care services visit: Where is best for you this winter? – NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

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