Estimates of the number of deaths in the UK attributable to flu each year average 8,000, with hospitable admissions for flu soaring between December and April for the following age ranges last winter (2015/16): 15-44 yrs 23%; 45-64 yrs 40%; 65+ yrs (37%).
A recent study has revealed that the number of patients with coughs and colds given antibiotics by GPs has risen 40% this century.
The study – carried out by the University College London and Public Health England and which looked at more than 500 UK GP practices between 1999 and 2011 – also found significant differences in the way GPs treat the illnesses.
The study comes in the wake of recent government efforts to reduce the number of prescriptions given for antibiotics, due to the fact they do not have an impact on common coughs and colds. They are effective in only 10% of sore throat conditions.
Actual figures revealed that patients prescribed antibiotics for coughs and colds was 36% in 1999, but shot up to 50% by 2011 – a 40% rise.
The dark ages of medicine
The study has been published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, and follows Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent warning that, unless we take serious action on the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, we could be “cast back into the dark ages of medicine”. Read in full
The initiative will focus on the advice and treatment for common ailments and a host of other community pharmacy-based support – all with the aim of helping people to stay healthy during winter.
Community pharmacies are a fantastic and convenient way to get help and remedies for the coughs, sneezes and other health problems that are inevitable part of the colder season, but don’t need a GP or hospital appointment.
Protect yourself from flu by getting a jab if you’re:
65 or over
Have a medical condition, such as asthma
Living in a residential, nursing or care home or receive Carer’s Allowance
A carer for a disabled or elderly person
You’re a healthcare or social worker
If you want a flu jab but aren’t in any of the above groups, some pharmacies can arrange it for a small cost. Read in full
The swine flu crisis may be over but seasonal flu comes round every year. Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) for the treatment of seasonal flu is available on prescription from Dr Fox. The anti-viral medicine Tamiflu is supplied by online consultation. The medicine is dispensed and posted from our NHS partner pharmacy. Read in full