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Chair of Newham CCG and GP Dr Zuhair Zarifa beats the cold

PUBLISHED: 09:48 04 February 2015 | UPDATED: 09:48 04 February 2015

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The weather forecast for London says it will get colder next week. People will pick up colds flus and other winter illnesses. Prevention is better than cure!

There are things you can do to avoid getting sick:

Get a flu jab

Hopefully, you got a jab months ago, but if you didn’t it’s not too late. It’s the best protection against getting the flu. Having flu is not just a couple of days feeling woozy, some people don’t recover for weeks. Look for a pharmacy offering the jab or ask your GP.

The flu jab is free for people who are high risk, including:

• 65 years and older

• pregnant women

• people with certain long term health conditions

• people with a a weakened immune system

• carers for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.

Also it’s free to children aged between two and four years old.

Get sleep

Your immune system will function best when you’re well rested. Adults typically need six to eight hours each night.

Wash your hands

Put soap on your hands and wash them with warm water for 20 seconds. More than 95 per cent of people don’t meet this standard. You should wash your hands frequently, including but not limited to when you eat, sneeze, touch garbage or use the restroom.

Move your body

Exercising at least two and a half hours a week reduces the chance you’ll catch a flu-like ailment by about 10 per cent by boosting your immune system.

If you do get sick avoid passing it on

Avoid public places. Stay home. Keep warm. Drink lots of fluid. Take paracetamol and if you’re worried that you or your loved one is getting worse, call your GP surgery or the Newham GP out of hours service on 020 7511 8880. More from Dr Zarifa


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