Bad weather on the way so be prepared, stay well and keep your medicine cabinet stocked
Published: 12th January 2017
Forecasts predict bad weather is on the way to Cumbria this week so GPs are urging people to be prepared and ensure their medicine cabinets are fully stocked to help them keep well through this cold spell.
A drop in temperature is expected across the county from today (11 January) and there is a yellow weather warning for snow covering all of Cumbria on Thursday and Friday.
The cold weather can also often cause symptoms of illness, but many of them can be tackled by taking some simple steps and by visiting your local pharmacy.
We know that many people are suffering at this time with norovirus (or sickness bugs) and they are strongly advised not to visit anyone in hospital as they could be putting others at risk. There is no treatment for norovirus but it’s important to keep yourself hydrated to prevent loss of fluids and practice good hand hygiene to help with prevention from the virus. If you have any children who have been ill with the virus keep them away from nursery or school for 48 hours after their last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting.
You can ease many symptoms of other winter illness with medication readily available in pharmacies. Pharmacists are experts in many aspects of healthcare and can offer advice on a wide range of long-term conditions and common illnesses such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets. Your pharmacist will be able to advise if you need further medical attention.
Dr David Rogers, NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group’s Medical Director, said:
“Winter weather often means many of us are spending more time indoors and unfortunately feeling unwell with coughs, colds and other viruses, which can be picked up through family, friends and colleagues at work.
“Sometimes these winter bugs result in more people wanting to see their GP, attend accident and emergency or call 999. However, most of these ailments can actually be treated at home or with the advice of your local pharmacist, with pain killers, rest and plenty of fluids.
“By doing this, not only are you helping to reduce the spread of winter viruses to other vulnerable patients in waiting rooms, you are also keeping appointments available for people who have serious health conditions which require a doctor or nurse.”
People in Cumbria are urged only to use 999 and A+E services if it is a serious accident or life threatening illness. NHS 111 is free to call and able to offer medical advice.
More advice to help people stay well this winter can be found at: www.nhs.uk/staywell
The website www.nhs.uk provides winter health advice, information about how to treat everyday winter illnesses and, if needed, where to go to for help.
Here are some simple tips to help you stay well through cold winter weather:
- Keep warm –If you have reduced mobility, are 65 or over, or have a health condition such as heart or lung disease, you should heat your home to at least 18C. If you're under 65 and healthy and active, you can safely have your house cooler than 18C, if you're comfortable.
- Eat well – food gives you energy, which helps to keep you warm. So, try to have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day.
- Get a flu jab – flu vaccination is offered free of charge to people who are at risk, pregnant women, carers and some young children to ensure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.
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