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Stay well this winter

With winter well and truly here NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG is reminding everyone of the importance of staying well in the cold weather.

Colds, flu and norovirus are far more likely at this time or year as our immune systems come under attack. The cold weather can also be a major trigger for some conditions such as asthma.
 
Dr John Stammers, Chairman of the CCG and GP and Sole Bay Health Centre in Southwold said: “It is vital at this time of year, more than any time, we take care of ourselves.  I can’t stress enough that basic health advice such as eating well, keeping hydrated and keeping warm are really important for general wellbeing.  Being cold, particularly for the elderly and vulnerable can really affect health.
 
“If you do get a winter illnesses treat it early either at home with over the counter medicines or if you’re not sure what to do ask your pharmacist.  Colds are best treated with rest and plenty of fluids.  Symptoms can be managed with medicines from the chemist.
 
“If you begin to feel unwell when the pharmacies are closed call 111.  You’ll be put straight through to the NHS where someone can tell you the best course of action for your symptoms.  If you do need to visit the NHS they can tell you which closest to you are open.”
 
If you are ill and need to carry on with your day it’s a good idea to take precautions to minimise the spread to others.  Carry tissues rather than handkerchiefs for coughs and sneezes.  Don’t re-use them. Put them straight in the bin so you’re not carryingthebugs around with you.  Then to wash your hands to kill the germs.  Try to steer clear of the very young and the very old or ill.  It may be a cold to you, but could really compromise the health of others. 
 
Make sure you keep medicines such as paracetamol and ibuprofen in the house that way if you do become ill you can treat it early so don’t have to go out in cold weather to the pharmacy.  Most times you do not need to see a GP as a cold.  A cold can take up to two weeks to fully go and antibiotics won’t help.
 
Make sure you have regular meals and hot drinks and keep your home at a warm temperature.  It should be above 18c.  If you do need to go out, wrap up warm and take care if it’s icy.  Slips and trips are more common in winter. 
 
If you can help an elderly neighbour with their shopping, repeat prescriptions or other medication it might save them a trip out.
 
For more information on winter health visit www.nhs.uk/staywell

published on 29/01/2016

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