For a mild cold, slight flu symptoms or sore throat, you are as well to go to your pharmacist (chemist) for help and advice.
Some people are able to get free over-the-counter medicines and your local pharmacist may even be able to deliver medicines to your door.
If you are feeling really ill, then ring your GP.
Should I be taking antibiotics?
All colds and most coughs and sore throats are caused by viruses. Antibiotics do not work against infections such as colds caused by viruses. The best way to treat most colds is to drink plenty of fluids and to rest. By using antibiotics when we don't need them, we reduce the effectiveness of them when we really do need them.
Norovirus - the winter vomiting bug.
This unpleasant virus causes vomiting and diarrhoea and can have other symptoms including headaches, mild fever, stomach cramps and aching limbs.
Unfortunately there is no cure for it, you just have to let it take its course. Stay home, drink lots of water and avoid contact with other people until you feel better.
How to avoid catching norovirus.
Whilst there is no 100% effective way to avoid it, there are ways to reduce your risk of catching it. Keep your hands clean. Wash them frequently with soap and water, particularly after going to the toilet and before eating or preparing food.
Avoid raw, unwashed food. Rinse fruit and vegetables well before eating them. Don't share towels, flannels or toothbrushes, especially if someone in your household has the virus. Keep all household surfaces clean with bleach-based products especially in the kitchen and bathroom.
What to do if you catch norovirus.
Keep it to yourself. Stay at home and keep your hands clean, helping to avoid spreading it to others. You can still be infectious up to 48 hours after your symptoms go, so do not mix with others during this time. Drink plenty of water to replace the lost fluids and avoid alcohol. Eat food that is easy to digest, such as soup, bread and pasta.
If you want more information you can ring NHS helpline 0800 22 44 88.
If you live in Aberdeen in the Bridge of Dee area, you can get advice from Ewan Mackie - pharmacist, on 01224 318689. He is based at 7 Ramsay Crescent. They deliver prescriptions free of charge within a 2 mile radius.
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