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    Private GP Services & Occupational Healthcare in Edinburgh, UK.

    Protect yourself this flu season

    Posted on October 9th, 2019

    Falling leaves, layers of knitwear, evenings spent snuggled up on the sofa – autumn is here. Unfortunately, this means that flu season is also here. Despite the seriousness of influenza, many people are unaware of the difference between the common cold and the flu. We’re therefore sharing our top flu facts so you can spot the symptoms and get the help you need. Or better yet, protect yourself against flu by getting vaccinated.

    How do you catch the flu?

    Both colds and the flu are spread by coughs and sneezes. The germs contained in the tiny droplets  enter your body through the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, or mouth. That’s why it is so important to sneeze into a tissue and cover your mouth when coughing to limit the spread of the virus.

    How long does the flu typically last?

    Colds tend to leave you feeling under the weather for just a few days, whereas the flu tends to drag on for longer, in some cases it can be weeks.

    What are the symptoms of the flu?

    Colds tend to come on gradually, usually beginning with a sore throat and a runny nose, followed by congestion and a cough. Children may develop a fever but this is uncommon in adults.

    Symptoms of the flu, on the other hand, have a tendency to come on much quicker, with sufferers reporting they suddenly become hit with a sore throat, congestion and a cough, as well as a fever, fatigue, chills, headache and muscle pain.

    How do you treat the flu?

    Whether it’s a cold or flu, it’s important to rest up and keep warm. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and ease any aches and pains.

    If you’re within a medically vulnerable group, for example you’re pregnant, over 65, have a long-term medical condition or a weakened immune system, it’s best to speak to your doctor right away if you suspect you have the flu. It’s also best to contact a doctor if your symptoms persist for more than seven days.

    What complications are associated with the flu?

    The common cold is likely to make you feel miserable for several days but it shouldn’t lead to any further medical complications. The flu, however, has potential to cause serious health problems such as pneumonia. This is of particular concern to the young, elderly, or people with lung or heart problems.

    How can I protect myself from the flu?

    There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of catching colds and the flu, including limiting your time spent around those who are ill and washing your hands frequently. Eating a healthy, varied diet rich in vitamins and minerals will also give your immune system the best chance of fighting it off. However, the best way to prevent getting the flu is to get vaccinated. One simple injection in the arm should protect you throughout flu season, but to stay protected, it is recommended you get vaccinated every year.

    The flu vaccine is available at YourGP now, whilst stocks last. For further information CLICK HERE, or to book yours, email or call us on 0131 225 5656.

    Just a massive thank you for being so willing to help us out. I was kept up to date in all email communication between the two clinics which I found very reassuring. I honestly can not emphasize enough how grateful we both are that the clinic was able to help us out with the Zita West fertility tests. We really did not know what we were going to do after the mix up with the blood collection dates due to the 4th of July in America and really thought we would have to give up on these tests so it means a massive amount to us that we have been able to proceed with them because of your willingness to help us out. Thank you again.

    D and A McG

    YourGP is regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland – the regulator for independent healthcare services across Scotland. Healthcare Improvement Scotland accepts complaints at any time. Contact them at:

    Independent Healthcare Team
    Gyle Square | 1 South Gyle Crescent | Edinburgh | EH12 9EB
    0131 623 4342 |

    YourGP is registered with the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) Registered Office: Station Road, North Street, Havant PO9 1QU.