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As the temperature drops, local NHS departments are urging people to think about how the cold weather and winter viruses may affect you, your family and your home.  It’s a good time now to get prepared and make sure you can keep warm and well over the winter months.

Cold weather can lead to serious health problems and can sometimes kill  Older people, those with chronic health conditions and people who have a disability, are particularly at risk during the cold weather.  Cold and flu viruses as well as tummy bugs such as the Norovirus also start to circulate this time of year.

Look below for some top tips:

One in three people in Warwickshire are entitled to a free flu vaccination.  Although flu is a mild illness in most people, it can and does kill.  Contact your GP, pharmacy or midwife and make an appointment for a vaccination today. To find out more about free flu vaccinations go to warwickshire.gov.uk/flu.

Winter can be a difficult time for older people, so keep a check on older friends, neighbours and relatives.  Help them to stay well at home by making sure they are able to take care of themselves or that they have some help.  This could include helping with shopping, cooking and personal hygiene to help prevent them from getting ill.

If you are elderly or vulnerable wrap up warm in the winter, both inside and out.  Several layers of clothes are better than one thick layer.  Move around at least once an hour and don’t sit down for long periods of time.  If possible, stay inside during a cold period if you have heart or respiratory problems.

If you live in Warwickshire and are worries about keeping your home warm there is a free advice service run by Act on Energy.  The service can also helps with fuel bills and benefit entitlement advice, including whether you are eligible for heating and insulation measures.

For more advice on staying well this winter visit nhs.uk/staywell