Navigating Winter with Confidence: Your Guide to Flu Prevention

Navigating Winter with Confidence: Your Guide to Flu Prevention

As the colder weather approaches, my latest blog focuses on staying well this winter.

Flu Vaccinations: Your Winter Shield

For those at higher risk from Covid-19 and the flu, vaccination is your extra layer of protection. Flu and Covid-19 vaccinations start from September, though ‘start dates’ in GP practices may vary depending on when they receive their vaccine supply.

It is worth noting that children can receive flu nasal sprays. There have been rumours this nasal spray also contains the Covid-19 vaccine. This is not true. Any children eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine would receive this separately.   

Contrary to common misconceptions, getting both the flu and Covid-19 vaccines delivered simultaneously is safe and recommended.

Understanding the Flu

The flu, caused by influenza viruses, targets your nose, throat, and lungs. It is highly contagious, spreading easily through coughs and sneezes, with germs capable of surviving on surfaces for up to 24 hours. Symptoms include a sudden high temperature, body aches, dry cough, sore throat, and loss of appetite.

People aged 65 and older, individuals with chronic medical conditions (like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant individuals, and children under 5 are at a higher risk of flu complications.

Let’s clarify one thing – the flu is caused by influenza viruses, not by cold weather!

Seeking the Right Care

When you are feeling under the weather, knowing where to turn for care is essential.

  • Self-Care: Manage minor ailments at home, such as grazed knees, hangovers, sore throats, and coughs. Stock your medicine cabinet and order your prescriptions to cover the Christmas closure periods.
  • NHS 111: For non-emergency assistance, call NHS 111 when you can’t wait to see your GP. This is suitable for cases like feeling generally unwell, needing support advice, when your GP is unavailable, or when you need help.
  • Pharmacy: Local experts can offer guidance on issues like diarrhea, teething, runny noses, painful coughs, and headaches.
  • GP Surgery: Seek GP help for conditions such as asthma, vomiting, ear pain, stomach aches, or backaches. For out-of-hours care, call 111.
  • A&E or 999: Only for emergencies, including choking, chest pain, breathing difficulties, blackouts, or severe blood loss.

The Chilling Effects of Cold Weather

Cold weather can have adverse effects on your health, thickening blood and increasing blood pressure. Breathing in chilly air raises the risk of chest infections. To counter these effects, maintaining the right temperature in your home is crucial, especially if you have limited mobility, are aged 65 or older, or have underlying health conditions like heart or lung disease. Aim for a room temperature of at least 18 degrees, as slightly higher temperatures can be even better for your well-being. And why not consider adding an extra jumper or slipping into some cosy socks for added comfort?

Local Winter Support

To access additional winter support and information on the cost of living, explore the resources provided by BCVS & Bassetlaw District Council, including our Cost of Living Booklet. You can also find warm spaces and assistance through the BCVS website.

For access to local food support, you can gain assistance through Bassetlaw Food Insecurity Network and Bassetlaw Food Bank.

For energy, bills, and benefits advice please seek support from The Bassetlaw Citizens Advice Bureau.

Winter is a season of unique challenges, but with knowledge and preparedness, you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy.

Our Next Blog: Shedding Light on Domestic Abuse

As we conclude this blog post, we want to thank you for joining us again for another important topic. In our upcoming blog entry, we will delve into the sensitive yet critical topic of domestic abuse. Our aim is to provide you with essential information, support, and valuable resources to navigate this important issue. See you next time.

This blog entry has been medically reviewed by Bassetlaw Place Based Partnership.

Cllr Lynne Schuller
Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing


Last Updated on Wednesday, May 8, 2024