Don't let the common cold confine you to your bed

25 January 2018

At this time of year colds and flu are very common. There are a few things which people can do to reduce their chances of developing infections and spreading them to others (as indeed “Australian flu” appears to be currently spreading across the UK).

  • First and foremost, wash hands regularly and make sure mouths and noses are covered when coughing and sneezing.

  • A healthy, balanced diet helps to keep the immune system tip top and its worth remembering that there is no clear evidence to show that high dose vitamins are at all effective. There is nothing wrong with taking a short course of multi-vitamins if you feel cold symptoms starting.

  • If you are eligible for the flu jab then it should be given. For example, people over 65, diabetics, healthcare workers and children with asthma.

  • Acute sinusitis is a relatively common problem that usually resolves on its own without the need for antibiotics. However, if the symptoms of sinusitis, such as pain in the face and mucus from the nose last much longer than a week, then a course of antibiotics might be indicated. 

If you are concerned see your GP. Self-help medication (available from the chemist) would include nasal decongestants, pain killers and nasal washes and should be used first.

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