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Flu puts strain on local hospitals

7 February 2018

The latest Public Health England statistics published show levels of flu continue to increase across the UK. This increase has prompted the launch of the nationwide initiative ‘Catch it. Bin it. Kill it’, to inform the public on the best ways to protect themselves and others from the seasonal virus.

The campaign prompts people suffering with flu-like symptoms to catch coughs or sneezes in tissues and bin them immediately, wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water and frequently clean regularly used surfaces to stop the spread of flu. Avoiding unnecessary contact with other people is also advised.

Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include a sudden fever (a temperature of 38C or above), an aching body and feeling very tired. You may also experience headaches and difficulty sleeping.

Seasonal flu usually circulates for several weeks each year. Practising good hand hygiene and getting the flu vaccine if eligible is the best defence, limiting the spread of germs and transmission of flu.

Dr Amol Kelshiker, Chair of the Harrow CCG says, “Our data shows that more people are visiting GPs with flu symptoms and we are seeing more people admitted to hospital, so these steps are important in protecting people across North West London from the virus, which can potentially be very serious”.

People are advised to stay warm in this cold weather, ensure they wear lots of thin layers, have plenty of warm food and drinks and heat homes to at least 18°C. This is particularly important if anyone in the home is very young, 65 or over or has a long term health condition.

Where people do experience flu like symptoms, they should act quickly and visit their local pharmacist who is fully qualified to advise on the right course of treatment.

Find your nearest pharmacy https://beta.nhs.uk/find-a-pharmacy/

For more information about the symptoms of flu visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/

Remember, if you develop serious symptoms such as sudden chest pain, difficulty breathing or start coughing up blood, call 999 or go to A&E.