Mayor of London urges people to Stay Well This Winter
londonbdnews24: The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khanhad his flu vaccination last month and urges others eligible for a free flu jab to protect themselves against the potentially life threatening illness.
Launched by Public Health England and NHS England, the Stay Well This Winter campaign encourages people most at risk from cold weather, including those with long-term health conditions and the over 65s, to prepare for the lower temperatures.
London mayor, Sadiq Khan was eligible for a free flu jab on the NHS as he suffers from adult onset asthma which is a long-term health condition. Sadiq Khan said: “As someone who suffers from asthma, having a flu jab is really important for me. And I want to encourage all who have a long-term health condition, carers and thoseover the age of 65 to do the same. Don’t put it off – speak to your GP or pharmacist today.”
More people die over the course of each winter compared to other times of the year and there are a range of conditions worsened by the cold weather - 80 per cent of these deaths are accounted for by people with circulatory diseases (such as heart disease, lung illnesses and stroke), dementia and respiratory diseases (such as asthma).
Exposure to cold indoor or outdoor temperatures increases blood pressure, thereby increasing the risk of heart failure, kidney disease, stroke or dementia. Cold temperatures can also make blood more likely to clot, which can lead to heart attacks and stroke. In addition, cold can also affect the respiratory system, which reduces the lung's ability to fight off infection explaining why lower temperatures are linked with bronchitis and pneumonia.
Colder weather is associated with an increase in deaths and has a significant impact on the number of people becoming ill, increasing the winter pressures felt by the health care services. Research shows that for every one degree centigrade drop below five degrees in outdoor average temperatures, there is more than a 10 per cent increase in older people consulting their GP for breathing problems, a 0.8 per cent increase in emergency hospital admissions and a 3.4 per increase in deaths.
The campaign urges people to be ready for the colder season and to seek immediate advice and help from a pharmacist as soon as they feel unwell, before their condition gets more serious.
Dr MdZakerUllahConsultant General Surgeon, Barts NHS Trustadvises: “Looking out for yourself and others in the cold weather is essential to keeping healthy. With winter on the way, now is a good time to make sure you, and those you know who may be particularly at risk from the cold, are as prepared as possible. If you qualify for the free flu jab, get it now. Also remember that eating a healthy, balanced diet and that staying physically active can keep you healthy.
Try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18°C (65°F), particularly if you find it hard to get around, have a long-term illness or are 65 or over. You may prefer your living room to be slightly warmer. Make sure your gas, solid fuel and oil burning appliances are serviced by a registered engineer so that they are working effectively and safely before the winter sets in. If we all look out for each other this winter we can really make a difference.”
There are a variety of ways you can apply for help to keep your house warm, such as Winter Fuel Payments, Warm Home Discounts and Cold Weather Payments. If you meet the criteria, register for priority service with your energy and water suppliers.
To find out more about the Stay Well This Winter campaign, visitwww.nhs.uk/staywell