Reminder for residents to look after the vulnerable in the predicted cold weather and protect themselves from flu and other winter bugs

As temperatures drop, and we are predicted to have snow showers and icy conditions in the region, Warwickshire County Council reminds residents that there is still time for a free flu vaccination for those eligible and to protect themselves and others from falling ill with Norovirus – the winter vomiting disease.

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Cold and flu viruses as well as tummy bugs such as Norovirus, are now starting to circulate more widely this year. To prevent the spread of Norovirus the advice is to wash your hands regularly with soap and water, stay off work or school for 48 hours after your last symptoms, and do not visit relatives in care homes/hospital until 48 hours clear.

As further cold weather is predicted, residents are reminded to look after those most vulnerable and help to support our health and care services. Cold weather can lead to serious health problems and can kill, even when temperatures are not at their lowest.

Advice to keep snug, warm and well this winter ranges from getting a free flu vaccination for those entitled, to ensuring homes are heated to at least 18C day and night. It is also wise to check if you are due for a free pneumococcal vaccination, which protects against pneumonia and other infections. Older people, those with chronic health conditions and people who have a disability, are particularly at risk during the cold weather.

Cllr Les Caborn, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health, said: “As we are likely to be seeing some very cold temperatures and conditions, it is important for us to consider what we can do to prevent people in Warwickshire falling ill with Norovirus – the winter vomiting disease. It is a highly infectious and unpleasant illness, which causes outbreaks in our schools, and closures in our hospitals and care homes. Similarly, we know that flu causes serious illness and can be a killer. Help to stop the spread of infections this winter by washing your hands with soap and water.”

Cllr Alan Webb, Warwickshire County Council’s Chair of the Adults, Social Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee added: “Make sure to check on neighbours, and that they have all the food and medications they need in the cold weather, and someone they can call if they need any help. Also, it is not too late to make sure those we care for are protected against flu. 1 in 3 people in Coventry and Warwickshire are entitled to a free flu vaccination, and this winter we would like to see everyone who is eligible protected. This is one of the things we can helpfully do to make sure that we reduce outbreaks of infections this winter.”

For information about flu vaccinations, visit warwickshire.gov.uk/flu

For more advice about staying well this winter, visit nhs.uk/staywell