Graham Hibbins, a pharmacist at Strachan’s Chemist in Uppermill, looks at how to treat cold and flu.
Find Strachan’s Chemist on New Street in Uppermill, or call them on 01457 820228.
AS WINTER approaches and more people come into close contact with each other, cold and flu viruses are more likely to spread.
There are over 200 cold viruses but only three that cause flu. Flu is more than just a bad cold and thousands of people a year can have complications after catching it.
So it is important to have the flu injection as soon as possible in winter, particularly if you are classified as an ‘at risk group’. These include elderly over 65, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions.
Your doctor or pharmacist could advise you if it is necessary and both can now administer the vaccine free of charge. Those not eligible free of charge can still have the vaccine if they wish, for a small charge.
The symptoms of a cold usually consist of runny/blocked nose, sore throat, sneezing and a cough. Most people can treat these symptoms themselves without seeing a doctor, and usually get better within a week.
There are many favourite remedies but my advice would be to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, to rest and take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen for aches and pains.
Always check with a pharmacist if you take any other medication as they can sometimes interfere with each other.
Flu is more serious and comes on much more quickly. Symptoms include; sudden fever, muscle aches and pains, sweating, a dry or chesty cough and feeling exhausted.
We can all help to stop the viruses spreading by coughing or sneezing into a tissue and throwing it away as soon as possible and washing your hands.
Also have the flu vaccine each year, as each year the virus changes.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Next month I will be discussing constipation, how it can happen and what treatments are available.