NHS issues ‘don’t spread colds’ warning

editorial image
Share this article

THE NHS has issued seasonal advice for people suffering from colds.

There are more than 200 different viruses that cause colds, which is why they are so common.

A spokesman for the NHS said that people should persevere with over-the-counter medicines or wait for the virus to run its course rather than asking their GP for antibiotics.

She said:In most cases, you can treat the symptoms of a cold yourself from home by using a number of self-care techniques such as drinking plenty of fluids while getting plenty of rest, and also eating a healthy low fat, high fibre diet which includes lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.”

Cold symptoms reach their peak after 36 to 72 hours and include dry, scratchy sore throat – usually the first sign of a cold, a runny nose and sneezing, a hoarse voice, a blocked, snuffly nose, a cough, a mild headache, a mild fever and generally feeling unwell or muzzy headed.

The spokesman added: “People can make more use of their pharmacists, who can offer advice on suitable over-the-counter treatments, which means avoiding an appointment with your GP and also the risk of spreading colds and flu by visiting the practice waiting room.

“You are most contagious during the first three days of a cold, when you shed huge amounts of the virus from your nose.”

The NHS also released four top tips to avoid spreading colds:

- Avoid contact with other people

- Wash your hands frequently

- Avoid touching your nose and eyes

- Use disposable tissues and bin used ones promptly

For more information on colds and flu visit the Staying Healthy section of the NHS Milton Keynes website ot the common cold page on the NHS Choices website.