Brighton now in grip of winter flu season

Posted On 29 Jan 2019 at 11:47 am

The winter flu season is now in full swing in Brighton and Hove, with the number of patients rising almost 150%.

The local NHS is urging anyone who hasn’t had the flu jab to get it now, and telling people how to treat their symptoms at home.

Katy Jackson, The Clinical Commission Group’s director of urgent care and systems resilience, said: “Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can be a very unpleasant illness with symptoms including fever, stuffy nose dry cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints and extreme tiredness, which can often last several days.

“We are now seeing a steady rise in people visiting their GP with flu like illnesses. The very best form of protection against flu for those who have not yet got it is to get the vaccine – it still isn’t too late to get the flu vaccine, to protect yourself and vulnerable people around you.”

Flu can’t be treated with antibiotics – flu is caused by viruses and antibiotics only work against bacteria. Those who get the flu will get better more quickly if they:

  • Get plenty of rest and sleep
  • Make sure they keep warm
  • Take paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration

The rate of patients presenting flu like symptoms at the city’s GPs rose from 9.9 per 100,000 to 24.5 in the two weeks up until 24 January 2019, a rise of 147.5%.

In order to reduce the impact of flu on local NHS services, residents and visitors to the city are being asked to make sure they use the right service for their medical needs, freeing up emergency care for those most in need.

The NHS Walk In Centre at Brighton Station is open 8am to 8pm for treatment without appointments, NHS 111 is available all day every day and is available to check symptoms online around the clock.

A pharmacist can also help with flu, offering treatment advice and recommend flu remedies, and give guidance on giving medicines to children. No appointment necessary to see a local pharmacist and most have private consultation areas, and will say if you need further medical attention.

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