Flu is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. You can catch flu – short for influenza – all year round, but it's especially common in winter, which is why it's also known as "seasonal flu".It's not the same as the common cold. Flu usually starts more suddenly, is more severe and lasts longer.
The main symptoms of flu include:
- a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
- tiredness and weakness so much so that you need to stay in bed
- a headache
- general aches and pains
- a dry, chesty cough
You can help stop yourself catching flu or spreading it to others by:
- washing your hands regularly with soap and warm water
- regularly cleaning surfaces such as your computer keyboard, telephone and door handles to get rid of germs
- using tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
- putting used tissues in a bin as soon as possible
- avoiding unnecessary contact with other people while you're infectious
To ease symptoms:
- rest at home
- keep warm and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and to relieve aches if necessary
- stay off work or school until you're feeling better, for most people this will take about a week
When to see your GP:
- If you are normally fit and healthy there is usually no need to see a doctor but consider contacting your GP if:
- you are 65 years of age or over
- you are pregnant
- you have a chronic medical condition – such as diabetes, heart, lung or kidney disease, or a neurological disease
- you have a weakened immune system – e.g. you're having chemotherapy or have HIV
- you develop chest pain, difficulty breathing, or start coughing up blood
- your symptoms are getting worse over time or haven't improved after a week
For more information visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Flu/
Call NHS 111 if you are concerned or need advice
NHS England Seasonal Flu Advice:
NEW Antibiotics Don’t Work For Everything Campaign 2017
The use of antibiotics when they are not needed is creating "one of the most dangerous global crises facing the modern world today", a new campaign is warning.
Public Health England (PHE) has launched the new "Keep Antibiotics Working" campaign to tackle the growing resistance to the drugs.
TV and radio adverts and posters have been produced to discourage patients from asking their GPs for antibiotics as the NHS heads into the busy winter period.
Professor Paul Cosford, medical director at PHE, said: "Antibiotic resistance is not a distant threat, but is in fact one of the most dangerous global crises facing the modern world today.
"Taking antibiotics when you don't need them puts you and your family at risk of developing infections which in turn cannot be easily treated with antibiotics.
"Without urgent action from all of us, common infections, minor injuries and routine operations will become much riskier."
It is estimated that 5,000 people die every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections.
England's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, has already warned of a "post-antibiotic apocalypse", where antibiotics no longer work for serious infections.
She said: "Without effective antibiotics, minor infections could become deadly and many medical advances could be at risk - surgery, chemotherapy and caesareans could become simply too dangerous.
"But reducing inappropriate use of antibiotics can help us stay ahead of superbugs.
"The public has a critical role to play and can help by taking collective action."
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria changes in such a way that the medication used to treat them - in this case antibiotics - becomes ineffective.
The Government wants to see the number of prescriptions handed out by GPs drop by 50% by 2020/21 to help combat the threat from resistance.
Meanwhile, British scientists have found a bacterial "Archilles heel" that may help overcome antibiotic resistance.
The target is an enzyme relied on by many bugs to destroy beta-lactams, a common kind of antibiotic.
The scientists found that a combination of two enzyme-inhibitors and the antibiotic aztreonam was able to kill some of the most resistant bacteria known.
Dr Matthew Avison, from the University of Bristol's school of cellular and molecular medicine, said: "At the risk of sounding like King Canute, it is the first time for a decade that there is some genuine positivity about our ability to turn back the rising tide of beta-lactam antibiotic resistance."
For more information on what Antibiotics DO and DO-NOT work on, click the link below:
NHS Alcohol Awareness Week – 13th – 19th November 2017
13th - 19th November 2017 is Alcohol Awareness Week.
It is estimated that the cost of alcohol on society is £21 Billion.
The aim of Alcohol Awareness Week is to get people to think about alcohol - how it affects us as individuals, families, communities and society as a whole.
For some facts on alcohol and its effects, click the link below:
COPD Awareness Month – November 2017
1st - 30th November 2017 is COPD Awareness Month.
COPD. or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, deescribes a group of lung conditions that mak eit difficult to empty air out o fthe lungs because your airways have been narrowed.
Living with COPD makes it difficult for you to breathe, and you might find everyday tasks a real challenge.
Millions of people across the UK have COPD and don't even know it.
They're struggling with their symptoms and a lower quality of life and their condition may be progressing because they're not receiving treatment.
To find out more about COPD, click the link below:
Patient Newsletter – Autumn 2017
Please click below to view the Autumn Patient Newsletter