NHS Issues Simple Steps To Help Maintain Good Health This Winter 

WASHING hands regularly, keeping warm, and staying hydrated are some of the very simple things people in Dumfries and Galloway can do to help stay well this winter. 


As cold weather hits the region, people are being advised that very simple measures can go a long way towards helping them maintain their own health, and prevent others from becoming unwell.


Valerie White is Director of Public Health, and she said: “Winter is a time when we tend to see bugs spreading as people spend more time indoors, and we see more cases of the cold and flu.


“Generally, it seems like a time when we’re all a little more susceptible to being unwell, and it’s important that we take care of ourselves and follow fairly simple advice that can help provide good protection.”


Flu and COVID vaccinations offer some of the best ways to protect you and your family against COVID and flu viruses.


Germs spread easily, so to help protect others always carry a tissue and use it to capture coughs and sneezes. Germs can live on tissues for several hours, so try to dispose of them as soon as possible and wash your hands after disposing of them.

Regular hand washing with soap and water can offer protection against many of the common viruses which cause a range of respiratory and other infections. Keep your hands clean and help children to wash their hands. It is important to remember that alcohol gel does not always kill all bugs.

There are other bugs which commonly occur during winter, for example norovirus. If you have symptoms of any gastrointestinal infection, please wait at least 48 hours after your symptoms have stopped before having direct contact with others, wash your hands frequently with soap and water, particularly after using the toilet, and keep household surfaces clean.


Staying hydrated is not a piece of advice always commonly heard over the winter period, and is perhaps more associated with warm summer days, but hydration is an important part of staying health as it can help to reduce your risk of a urinary tract infections.


Community pharmacies are a great source of advice and help over the winter period. Information is being shared on the website, in press and on social media about pharmacy opening times over the holiday period. For information, visit: https://www.nhsdg.co.uk/pharmacies-at-christmas/


Keeping warm over the winter period is important. The costs of keeping homes warm can be really high over the winter months, but there is support and information available to help. Please visit Dumfries and Galloway Council’s cost of living website at https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/cost-living-support


Ms White said: “Importantly, the one thing we can do over the winter period is look after each other, and work together as communities.


“It’s important that we look after ourselves over these winter months, but also important that we keep an eye out for others, and help to promote the good advice that can keep us all well.”


More general information on winter health can be found on the website www.nhsinform.scot

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