Winter wellness

Flu and COVID-19

Flu and COVID-19 are circulating in the community we can all help lower the risk of illness caused by these viruses, to ourselves and others.

When someone with flu or COVID-19 coughs or sneezes they release tiny particles containing the virus. These particles can come in contact with other people in the immediate area or land on surfaces and be passed from person to person by touch.

The best way to avoid catching and spreading flu or COVID-19 is by:

  • Cover nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing and coughing
  • Catch it, bin it, kill it – Use disposable tissues to blow your nose. Dispose of used tissues in the bin and wash hands with soap and warm water
  • Also wash hands after contact with frequently touched objects that may be contaminated such as doors, handles, ICT mouse etc
  • Where running water or hand soap is unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitiser but you should wash your hands at the first opportunity
  • Keep unclean hands away from your eyes and mouth

Booking your vaccination:

Cold weather

The impact of cold weather on health is predictable and mostly preventable. Direct effects of winter weather include an increase in incidence of:

  • heart attacks
  • stroke
  • lung illnesses
  • flu
  • falls and injuries
  • hypothermia

Indirect effects of cold include mental health illnesses such as depression. Poorly maintained or badly ventilated boilers, cooking and heating appliances can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

What you can do

Heating homes to at least 18°C (65°F) in winter poses minimal risk to the health of a sedentary person, wearing suitable clothing.

There is an existing recommendation to reduce sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Advice is that rooms babies sleep in should be heated to 16° to 20°C (61° to 68°F).

NHS Stay Well This Winter campaign pages

Winter Wrapped Up – Age UK

NHS England Severe Weather pages

Related issues:

How to reduce bills and make your home more energy efficient

GOV.UK Find ways to save energy in your home, or call the government helpline on 0800 444 202

Last updated on 13/10/2023