Colds and flu affect 15 million people each year in the UK and are much more common in the winter months. As part of Self Care Week 2012, Castle Point and Rochford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is helping to raise awareness of how people can prepare for these illnesses, what they can do if they get ill and when they need to see the doctor.
Dr Sunil Gupta from Castle Point and Rochford CCG said: “Flu doesn’t just affect older people, if you’re pregnant, have lowered immunity or a long term health condition such as severe asthma, a chest or heart complaint, or diabetes then you should also get a free flu jab from your GP. The flu jab is completely safe, and it can’t give you flu.
“If you’re unlucky enough to suffer from a cold or flu you may not have to go to the doctor, for most people the symptoms can be successfully treated at home with rest, drinking plenty of fluids and taking painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. As colds and flu are caused by viruses, antibiotics will not help get rid of them. We want to make sure that local residents visit their local pharmacy now ensuring that they have everything they need should they come down with a cold or worse still, flu.
“People only need to see a doctor if they think they have flu and have a serious underlying illness, are pregnant, have a sick child under one year old, the condition suddenly gets much worse or the condition is still getting worse after seven days (or five days for a child).”
If local residents have not been contacted about a flu jab and believe they are eligible, they should contact their GP.
For more information on flu, visit http://www.nhs.uk/flu