Flu: How you can protect yourself from the lurgy this winter

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People in South Tyneside are being encouraged to protect themselves from common winter illnesses and prepare for the cold weather.

South Tyneside Council is supporting the Stay Well This Winter campaign, which is aimed at reminding people – especially those with long-term health conditions and those over 65 – to be ready for winter and ward off common winter illnesses so they do not require a visit to the hospital.

The campaign is also reminding people at risk of flu to protect themselves by getting vaccinated.

Those who have long-term health conditions or who are pregnant are at greater risk of developing complications as a result of flu.

Coun Moira Smith, South Tyneside Council’s lead member for public health, said: “For the majority of people, flu is an unpleasant, but not life-threatening illness but it can be very serious for older people and those groups at risk of developing complications.

“Vaccination remains the best way to protect against the potential serious harm from flu this winter. I urge everyone entitled to a free vaccination, to take up the offer.”

The message this winter is:

• Keep your house warm this winter at least 18°C (65F)

• Immunisations: Get your flu vaccination

• Keep an eye on elderly neighbours and relatives

• Seek advice from a pharmacist at first sign of illness

• Pick up repeat prescriptions so you have enough while pharmacies/surgeries are closed

lMake sure you have enough food and medicine in the cupboards

If you do need help over the holiday period when your GP surgery or pharmacy is closed, call NHS 111 or visit www.nhs.uk.

Visit http://www.nhs.org.uk/staywell for more information.