PEOPLE are being urged to check on elderly neighbours with a severe cold snap predicted on Sunday and Monday mornings.
NHS and council leaders say although the period of cold weather, with low temperatures and overnight frosts will be short-lived, there is a concern vulnerable people may be at risk.
Cold weather can lead to serious health problems and can kill. Older people, those with chronic health conditions and people who have a disability, are particularly at risk during the cold weather. Cold and flu viruses as well as tummy bugs such as Norovirus are also now starting to circulate.
Warwickshire County Council is encouraging people to be good neighbours, to check in on friends, relatives and those nearby who may be vulnerable to the cold and make sure they have enough food and medication, and that they are keeping warm.
Everyone is advised to keep warm and healthy by keeping rooms heated to at least 18oC throughout the day and night and to wear suitable clothing – several thin layers is better than one thick layer.
It is also recommended that people keep an eye on the weather forecast when planning activities.
County health spokesman Coun Les Caborn said: “A short spell of severe cold weather is expected in Warwickshire.
“While for many of us it is a simple case of wrapping up warm and turning up the heating, the reality for the more vulnerable members of our communities is quite different. This time of year can be particularly risky for health, particularly in older people, the very young, and those with long term conditions, but by taking some practical steps, seeking help and reaching out to others we can all play a small part in helping each other to take care.”
For protection against flu, those eligible, including carers among other vulnerable groups, are reminded to please ensure they do not delay and take up their offer of a free flu vaccination.
Hospital admission rates for flu were the highest ever recorded last year. There are many myths about the jab but it really is one of the best ways to keep well in the colder months. Help challenge some of the myths around flu vaccination and contact your GP, pharmacy or midwife to book it in.
To prevent the spread of tummy bugs people are reminded to wash their hands with soap and water regularly and clean surfaces frequently if someone within the household is unwell and allow until 48 hours after you last had symptoms before returning to work or school.
Click here for further details.
For a map of pharmacies delivering NHS flu vaccinations across Coventry and Warwickshire click here