Pharmacy

Winter checklist 

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Stay well 

Get better

Pharmacy

Easy read

HELP ME GET BETTER

HELP ME GET BETTER

Sometimes you can do everything in your power to stay well, and then someone goes and coughs on you when you’re on the bus. Or you walk within fifty feet of a university during Fresher’s Week. Anyway, let’s work out what you should do to start feeling better.

NOROVIRUS, FLU AND COVID-19

NOROVIRUS, FLU AND COVID-19

Flu and norovirus are two winter bugs that will make you feel horrendous in different ways. With flu, you probably aren’t going to be able to leave your bed. With norovirus, you’re not going to want to leave your bed, but you’ll be stuck in your bathroom throwing up and having mad diarrhoea instead. They’re… not the best, and unfortunately, they’re super contagious.

The best thing to do if you get either of these bugs is to stay home, get lots of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and let them run their course. Remember to wash your hands with soap and water to kill germs and help stop bugs spreading to other people. If you’re concerned or want advice, you can always call 111.

This year we’re adding COVID-19 to the list of ‘horrible things you don’t want to get this winter’. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from COVID, but even if you’re fully vaxxed it’s important to keep testing to make sure you aren’t passing the virus on to others without you knowing. If you are COVID positive, it’s important to follow the latest guidance on what to do, so check out the GOV.UK site for more info.

What you shouldn’t do is go to hospital if you’ve got flu or norovirus. Remember how we said they’re super contagious? If you drag yourself to a hospital with either of these bugs there’s a very good chance you’ll spread it to people who are already unwell and more vulnerable, and to NHS staff. That means they’re not able to work, which puts even more pressure on our hospitals at a very busy time of year.

More info on flu / More info on norovirus / More info on COVID-19

NETFLIX AND CHILLS

NETFLIX AND CHILLS

Colds, coughs and flu-like illnesses only tend to last a few days, and staying warm at home and getting plenty of rest is the best way to get back on your feet (plus it gives you time to watch any box sets you’ve not had time for – bonus). Over-the-counter cold medicines, paracetamol and ibuprofen can all help you manage your symptoms, so make sure you stock up.

Not sure if your cough is chesty, dry or tickly? Your local pharmacist will be able to give you great advice on the best way to manage your symptoms. Find your nearest pharmacy with our pharmacy finder. It’ll also show you their opening hours, so no worries about dragging yourself out of bed for no reason.

WORSE THAN A SNIFFLE?

WORSE THAN A SNIFFLE?

The NHS has loads of services available to help you get better, and using the right one at the right time will not only cut down on how long you spend feeling rough, but will also help prevent more vulnerable people catching what you’ve got, and could mean that people worse off than you can get treated quickly. Everyone wins. Take a look at our service guide to find the best option for you, and where to go for help.

ME: *SNEEZES*

ALSO ME: GUESS I’LL DIE

ME: *SNEEZES*

ALSO ME: GUESS I’LL DIE

We know that having a cold can make you feel like you’re dying, but you’d be surprised at how many people rock up at A&E when they don’t need to, especially at this time of year. We’ve heard it all, from people turning up with toothache, hangovers, and even broken nails. Spoiler alert: that’s not what A&E is for.

When hospital staff have to spend time dealing with time-wasters like that, it’s time spent not helping someone that really needs it, and that can put people’s lives in danger.

Unless your face is melting off a-la Raiders of the Lost Ark, you don’t need to go to A&E. By which we mean it’s for life-threatening illnesses and injuries only.

If you’re not sure where you should be going, give 111 a call. You can talk to someone in-the-know about how you’re feeling or what hurts, and they’ll be able to advise you on where to go, or get you an ambulance if you do need one. You’ll be getting the right treatment as fast as possible, and so will the people that really need emergency care. That’ll have you feeling better in no time.