Public health chiefs are urging people to stay warm and stay well over the winter period to help prevent colds, flu or more serious health conditions.

The chances of becoming ill due to winter related illnesses are higher among people aged 65 and over or those with a disability or long term health condition such as heart, lung or kidney disease.

Public Health England today (Thursday 29 December) issued a "level three" cold weather alert for the first time since January. This is when average temperatures look set to fall to 2 degrees centigrade and if either widespread ice or heavy snow is forecast.

Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Some health conditions can be exacerbated by a drop in temperature, but there are a number of practical ways to stay well when there's a cold snap.

"If you haven't yet had a flu jab but you're eligible because you have a long term health condition, are pregnant or are over 65, then many pharmacies and GPs are offering them. Ask at your local pharmacy or speak to your GP for details.

"Keeping your home and yourself warm is really important. Your home should be 18 degrees centigrade, try to have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day, keep active and eat nutritious food to boost your energy levels, which in turn help to keep your body warm.

"Cold weather may also trigger asthma, so it is important to take medication as prescribed and keep your inhalers close by if you're venturing outside.

"If you do start to feel unwell seek help early; talk to your pharmacist or call NHS 111 who will be able to tell you which service you may need."

For more information on staying well this winter, please visit Type=links;Linkid=7673;Title=Stay Well This Winter;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Thursday 29 December, 2016