With the early arrival of flu this year everyone is being reminded how to cut down their chance of catching it and what to do if they do fall ill this winter.
Dr David Hicks, medical director at Barnsley hospital, offers some sensible advice: “The best protection against flu is to have the flu jab. If you are over 65 or in one of the at risk groups and have not had the jab this year, it’s not too late. Contact your surgery to check if they still have supplies and make an appointment.
“There are simple steps that everyone can take to help prevent catching colds and flu:
• always use a tissue to catch your sneezes
• throw away used tissues where germs can linger
• regularly wash your hands
Have a small supply of cold and flu remedies ready at home in case you become ill, you pharmacist will be able to advise you if you are not sure what to buy.”
If you think you have flu Dr Hicks recommends that you stay at home, drink plenty of fluids and take medicines like aspirin or paracetamol for your symptoms. “Colds and flu are viruses so antibiotics don’t help. Most people who have flu don’t need to go to their GP or the A&E department at the hospital but you can visit www.nhs.uk, watch free view channel 100 on their TV or ring NHS Direct on 0845 4647 for more advice.”