Colds and Flu
- These usually start with a runny nose,
cough, temperature and muscular aches. They are usually
caused by viruses for which antibiotics will have no effect.
Paracetamol helps the temperature and aches whilst decongestants
and throat lozenges may also help to relieve symptoms
- It is important to drink plenty of fluid,
but do not worry if you do not eat for a few days - you
will come to no harm
- However no more than eight paracetamols
should be taken within any 24 hours
Flu Facts - Your
flu facts for this winter- Have you got the sniffles or Flu?
Influenza, or the flu, is a respiratory infection caused by a variety
of flu viruses. It is estimated tens of 1000's of Britains come
down with the flu during each flu season, which typically lasts
from November to March. Children are two to three times more likely
than adults to get sick with the flu, and children frequently spread
the virus to others. Although most people recover from the illness,
a few people are hospitalised and some unfortunately die from the
flu and its complications every year.
When and Where Do People Usually Get the
Flu outbreaks usually begin suddenly and occur mainly in the late
fall and winter. The disease spreads through communities creating
an epidemic. During the epidemic, the number of cases peaks in about
three weeks and subsides after another three or four weeks. Half
of the population of a community may be afected. Because schools
are an excellent place for flu viruses to attack and spread, families
with school-age children have more infections than other families,
with an average of one-third of the family members infected each
How is the Flu Transmitted?
You can get the flu if someone around you who has the flu coughs
or sneezes. You can get the flu simply by touching a surface like
a telephone or door knob that has been contaminated by a touch from
someone who has the flu. The viruses can pass through the air and
can enter your body through your nose or mouth. If you've touched
a contaminated surface, they can pass from your hand to your nose
or mouth. You are at the greatest risk of getting infected in highly
populated areas, such as in crowded living conditions and in schools.
Are There Different Types of Flu Viruses?
The first flu virus was identified in the 1930's. Since then, scientists
have classified flu viruses into types A, B, and C. Type A is the
most common and usually causes the most serious epidemics. Type
B outbreaks also can cause epidemics, but the disease it produces
generally is milder than that caused by type A. Type C viruses,
on the other hand, never have been connected with a large epidemic.
What are Possible Complications from the
You can have flu complications if you get a bacterial infection,
which causes pneumonia in your weakened lungs. Pneumonia also can
be caused by the flu virus itself.
Symptoms of complications will usually appear after you start
feeling better. After a brief period of improvement, you may suddenly
- High fever
- Shaking chills
- Chest pain with each breath
- Coughing that produces thick, yellow-greenish-colored
Pneumonia can be a very serious and sometimes life-threatening
condition. If you have any of these symptoms, you should contact
your doctor immediately so that you can get the appropriate treatment.
Are There Other Flu Complications that
Only Affect Children?
Reye's syndrome, a condition that affects the nerves, sometimes
develops in children and adolescents who are recovering from the
flu. Reye's syndrome begins with nausea and vomiting, but the progressive
mental changes (such as confusion or delirium) cause the greatest
The syndrome often begins in young people after they take aspirin
to get rid of fever or pain. Although very few children develop
Reye's syndrome, you should consult a doctor before giving aspirin
or products that contain aspirin to children. Acetaminophen does
not seem to be associated with Reye's syndrome.
Other complications of the flu that affect children are:
- Convulsions caused by fever
- Ear infections, such as otitis media
Newborn babies recently out of intensive care units are particularly
vulnerable to suffering from flu complications.
Neighbourhood First Responder Scheme
Helping to save lives in
The objective of the Hilmarton Neighbourhood First Responder
Scheme is to provide local support to the Great Western Ambulance
Service NHS Trust and local community by responding to specific
emergency calls in the Hilmarton and Lyneham area. The Scheme
consists of volunteers trained by Wiltshire St. John Ambulance
and the Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust. We provide
vital life saving treatment and first aid prior to the arrival
of an emergency ambulance.
The Schemes success is based on local people giving some
time to be trained and to be on-call to support their the
local community. We are particularly interested in recruiting
suitable volunteers in the Lyneham area who would be willing
to provide on-call support during the working day and at weekends.
No previous first aid experience is required as full training
is provided free of charge by Wiltshire St. John Ambulance
and the Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
If you think you've got what it takes to become a Neighbourhood
First Responder within the Hilmarton Scheme, why not give
the Scheme co-ordinator, Simon Barnfather, a call on 07970
St. John Ambulance
Beacon Business Centre
Tel +44(0)1380 728 362
St. John Ambulance is the UK's leading First Aid,
transport and Care charity. Its mission is to provide First
Aid and medical support services, caring services in support
of community needs and education, training and personal development
to young people
Tel 0845 4647
NHS Direct is a new 24 hour nurse led telephone advice and
information service and is part of the National Health Service.
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