Stay well this winter

Flu

With the cold weather approaching, it’s very important that people who are at increased risk from flu have their free flu vaccination every year. The jab is available on the NHS to protect adults (and some children) at risk of flu and its complications. Flu can be unpleasant, but if you are otherwise healthy it will usually clear up on its own within a week.

However, flu can be more severe in certain people such as:

  • Anyone over the age of 65
  • Pregnant women
  • Children and adults with an underlying health condition (particularly long-term heart or respiratory disease)
  • Children aged 2, 3 and 4 years old should have the flu vaccine nasal spray

Anyone in these risk groups is more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia (a lung infection), so it’s recommended that they have a flu vaccine every year to protect them.

The flu vaccine for people in risk groups is available free on the NHS – so contact your GP practice to arrange an appointment.

Visit the NHS website for more information.

Flu vaccine for children

Public Health England has published a quick reference guide to the childhood flu vaccines for winter 2015 to 2016.  Which flu vaccine should children have? is a chart which indicates whether children should get the ‘live’ nasal spray vaccine or the inactivated injected flu vaccine.

Norovirus

The norovirus can be caught at any time of year, but is known as "the winter vomiting bug".

It is highly contagious and can affect people of all ages, causing vomiting and diarrhoea. The incubation period usually lasts between 12 and 48 hours. During this time you may be infectious to other people so we advise that you follow the steps below to help ease your symptoms:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Take paracetamol for any fever, aches and pain

We also advise that you:

  • Stay at home. Don’t go to see your GP because norovirus is contagious and there’s nothing your GP can do while you have it
  • Ring your GP to seek advice if your symptoms last longer than a few days or if you already have a serious illness

Norovirus is very contagious. Follow the measures below to help prevent the virus spreading:

  • wash your hands frequently
  • don't share towels and flannels
  • disinfect surfaces that an infected person has touched

Find out all of the information you need to stay well this winter on www.staywellthiswinter.co.uk.