Advice offered for Devon flu patients

PUBLISHED: 11:51 05 January 2017

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Health experts in Devon are urging people to stock up their medicine cabinets and get advice from their local pharmacist to protect themselves from flu.

The NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group says at the first sign of illness, patients should act quickly and ask their local pharmacist for advice.

Rory Thompson, pharmacist at Lloyds Pharmacy, said: “You don’t need an appointment to ask a pharmacist for advice and many have private consulting rooms, designed to make it easier for people to speak to us.

“We are trained to give advice and treatment for flu as well as a wide range of minor ailments and illnesses such as coughs and colds, fever, sore throat, blocked nose, teething pain, earache and more.

“Using your pharmacy frees up GP time and leaves hospital A&E departments to deal with life-threatening emergencies.”

The most common symptoms of flu are fever, chills, headache, aches and pains in the joints and muscles, and extreme tiredness.

People can help prevent the spread of the virus by covering their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze, and reduce the risk of picking up the virus by washing their hands with soap frequently.

Free flu vaccinations are offered to vulnerable groups including the elderly, those with conditions such as heart or respiratory problems, pregnant women, carers and children aged two, three, four and in school years one, two and three.

Anyone who is eligible who hasn’t had their vaccination is urged to contact their GP.

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