Catch it, Kill it, Bin it!

As cold and flu cases rise health experts say “Stop the spread of flu germs. Use a tissue and wash your hands thoroughly.”

Somerset’s public health advisors and family doctors are reminding friends, family and work colleagues to play their part in reducing the spread of flu this winter.

Public Health England has re-launched their “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it” radio and television advertising campaign again after seeing a steep rise in the numbers of confirmed case of the flu occurring across the country. Somerset’s hospitals, GP surgeries, schools and workplaces are reportedly seeing more people with symptoms of cough’s colds and flu.

Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health, Somerset County Council said: “People suffering with flu-like symptoms should catch coughs or sneezes in tissues and bin them immediately, wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water and frequently clean regularly used surfaces to stop the spread of flu. Avoiding unnecessary contact with other people if you or they have symptoms of flu is also important.”

Dr Ed Ford, a GP and Chairman of Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group said: “If you are healthy, getting a cold or even flu is not normally life threatening but for the very elderly, or people living with long-term health problems, like chronic lung disease or asthma, the complications caused by the flu virus can be very serious.

“See your pharmacist at the first signs of a cold or flu and make sure you have some over the counter remedies which can help relieve a cough, sore throat or aching muscles. Colds and flu are self-limiting illnesses and you symptoms should improve by resting at home. Do not ask your GP Practice for antibiotics. They are ineffective against cold and flu viruses.”

Here are some tips to help you manage your cold or flu symptoms:

• Rest at home

• Drink plenty of water and warm drinks

• Soothe a sore throat – Throat lozenges can help. Don’t give lozenges to children younger than 3 to 4 years old because they could choke on them.

• Combat stuffiness – Get nasal sprays from your pharmacist. They can help relieve stuffiness and congestion

• Relieve joint and muscle pain – By taking paracetamol.

Your pharmacist will advise you on the best products to take to relieve the symptoms of colds and flu.

If your symptoms become worse and you need health advice telephone NHS 111. It’s free to call and available 24 hours a day.

For more information about helping you and your family stay well this winter go to: