NHS North Yorkshire urges people to prepare now for winter illnesses

The NHS in North Yorkshire says residents can take steps now to look after their own health, so they are well prepared for common winter illnesses like a cough or cold.

Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 2:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 2:15 pm
NHS North Yorkshire urges people to prepare now for winter illnesses.

They recommend keeping a medicine cabinet at home containing simple remedies like paracetamol, ibuprofen and anti-diarrhoea tablets. NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group say many people will be able to deal with a short-term winter infection themselves without needing to see a GP.

NHS North Yorkshire CCG Clinical Chair, Dr Charles Parker, said: “We’re approaching a time of year when we routinely see an increase in winter infections like coughs, colds and sore throats.

"GPs in North Yorkshire won’t normally issue a prescription for these short-term conditions, but effective over-the-counter medicines are available to buy from pharmacies and supermarkets. With winter just around the corner, it’s sensible to be prepared.”

The medicines the NHS recommends people have at home to treat common winter illnesses include:-

Painkillers like aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen which are highly effective at relieving many minor aches, pains and ailments, including a common cold; Oral rehydration salts, which are an easy way to help restore the body's balance of minerals and fluid if you are suffering from fever, diarrhoea and vomiting; Anti-diarrhoea medicine which can control the symptoms of diarrhoea that can be brought on by a stomach virus or food poisoning; Antacid tablets or liquid, which will reduce stomach acidity and bring relief from indigestion and heartburn.

Some patients also find cough syrups are useful in easing the symptoms of coughs and sore throats, though natural remedies like hot lemon and honey can also be effective.

Ian Dean from Community Pharmacy North Yorkshire said: “Pharmacy teams are part of the NHS family and can provide clinical advice for a range of minor illnesses such as coughs, colds and tummy troubles. There’s no need to make an appointment and many minor conditions can be treated without needing to see a doctor.

“Pharmacies are remaining open during the National Lockdown in England, but please adhere to Covid rules relating to face coverings and social distancing to protect yourself, pharmacy staff and others – and if you have symptoms of coronavirus, please do stay at home and arrange a test.”

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