NHS Forth Valley Issues Advice on Flu Following Increase in Cases

People with flu like symptoms are being advised to try manage the condition at home following a sharp increase in the number of people attending GP practices and the Emergency Department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital seeking treatment for colds and flu. This will help take pressure off hospital services at this busy time of year and free up capacity to treat patients with more serious illnesses and injuries.

Dr Henry Prempeh, NHS Forth Valley Consultant in Public Health Medicine, explained: “If you develop flu like symptoms and are otherwise healthy then you can normally look after yourself at home by resting, keeping warm and drinking plenty of water. You can also take paracetamol or ibuprofen to help lower your temperature and relieve aches and pains.

“Most people will start to feel better after about a week and won’t normally have to see a GP but you should seek advice if you are at higher risk of becoming more seriously ill. This includes people aged over 65, pregnant women, people with heart, lung, kidney,  and neurological conditions, diabetes or anyone who has a weakened immune system.

“If your conditions worsen or last longer than a week you should speak to your local pharmacist, GP or contact NHS 24 on 111 for advice.”

Anyone with flu-like symptoms are also being asked not to visit the area’s hospitals until their symptoms have disappeared as they could pass the infection onto patients who are at higher risk of developing complications and becoming more seriously unwell. This includes people with coughs, a runny nose, sore throat or a high temperature.  For more information on treating flu visit www.nhsinform.scot or phone 0800 22 44 88 for advice.