The National Pharmacy Association is encouraging members of the public to seek advice from community pharmacy on how to prevent flu this autumn.
Although flu can be caught all year round, it is especially common over the winter months. Despite popular belief, flu is not the same as the common cold. Common symptoms include a sudden high temperature, headaches all over, general aches and pains, tiredness, a sore throat and nausea.
The best remedy for fighting flu is to stay at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Paracetamol or ibuprofen can also be used to help lower a high temperature and relieve aches.
Flu can be prevented by good hygiene such as handwashing and cleaning. A flu vaccination is also recommended by the NHS for patients at-risk of complications and is offered free of charge. These include pregnant women, people aged 65 years and over, those with weakened immune systems or those with certain underlying health conditions. Anyone who is very overweight may also be eligible, as well as carers, healthcare workers and those living in long-stay residential or other care facilities.
If you are concerned about getting the flu you may be able to receive a flu vaccination from your local community pharmacy. This can save a lot of time if you are busy or have other commitments, as pharmacies typically stay open longer than other healthcare services. The best time to get the vaccine is in the autumn, from September to November and you will need the vaccine every year to stay protected.
Ask your pharmacist about the flu vaccination today!