WITH the night’s drawing in and the temperature starting to drop, it’s time to start preparing your health for winter.
Each year hundreds of thousands of people see their GP and tens of thousands are hospitalised because of flu. Public Health England reported 904 people were admitted to intensive care last year with flu; 11% of those sadly died.
Dr Andy Carson, the Trust’s Medical Director, has been a practising GP for many years and said: “Whilst many people think they’re suffering from the flu, more often than not it’s just a bad cold. For most healthy people, there’s no question that flu is unpleasant but with good self-care, you can start to feel better after about a week.
“Flu is often underestimated and for older people, the very young, pregnant women and those with a chronic respiratory or cardiovascular health condition it can sometimes be very serious. People with underlying health conditions in particular are 11 times more likely to end up in hospital if they catch the flu.
“I would urge anyone at risk of flu to speak with their GP about protecting themselves and their families this season.”
In a bid to protect our own staff from the flu, the Trust’s vaccination programme will be starting this month. All staff, whether they work on an ambulance or in an office, will be able to receive a vaccination at their workplace.
If I get the flu, what can I expect?
Expect a high temperature (more than 38 degrees Celsius) and a sudden cough. Other symptoms can include headache, feeling cold and shivery, aching muscles, limb or joint pain, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, loss of appetite and diarrhoea or an upset stomach.
What can I do to get better at home?
If you’re otherwise fit and healthy, there is no need to visit your GP with flu-like symptoms. The best thing you can do is rest, drink plenty of fluids and help ease a sore throat with cough lozenges, mixtures or sprays. If you are buying over the counter remedies, make sure you check with the pharmacist first to ensure they don’t affect medication you’re already taking.