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Get the latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19).
Get a test to check if you have coronavirus on GOV.UK
Book a coronavirus vaccination if you have been invited
Find out about the main symptoms of coronavirus and what to do if you or your child has them.
Testing and tracing
Get a test to check if you have coronavirus, understand your test result and find out what to do if you're contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
Self-isolation and treating symptoms
Advice for people at higher risk from coronavirus, including older people, people with health conditions and pregnant women.
Book your coronavirus vaccination, read about the vaccine and understand what will happen on the day of your appointment.
People at high risk
Long-term effects (long COVID)
Find out about the long-term effects coronavirus can sometimes have and what help is available.
Social distancing and changes to everyday life
Advice about avoiding close contact with other people (social distancing), looking after your wellbeing and using the NHS and other services.
Take part in research
Find out about health research studies and how you may be able to take part.
Gov.UK: National lockdown in England
Information about restrictions and tiers in your area.
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Be kind, be careful, go safely.
To keep yourself healthy, eat well, exercise regularly.
To help us help you, try to ensure you have access to a thermometer and learn how to check your pulse and that of family members.
Every year, millions of us visit our GP with minor health problems that can be easily resolved without a doctor's appointment.It is estimated that every year, 50 million visits to the GP are made for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, mild eczema, and athlete's foot.
By visiting your pharmacy instead, you could save yourself time and trouble. Keeping a well stocked medicine cabinet at home can help you treat many minor ailments. Colds, coughs, indigestion and many other minor complaints can all be treated with medicines that are available over the counter. Your pharmacist can advise on what you might find useful to keep in your medicine cabinet. Always follow the instructions on the medicine label and consult your doctor if the illness continues or becomes more severe.
Pharmacists offer professional free health advice at any time - you don't need an appointment. From coughs and colds to aches and pains, they can give you expert help on everyday illnesses. They can answer questions about prescribed and over-the-counter medicines.
Pharmacists can also advise on health eating, obesity and giving up smoking. Some pharmacists have private areas where you can talk in confidence. They may suggest you visit your GP for more serious symptoms. It is possible to purchase many medicines from the chemist without a prescription.
Accident & Emergency departments assess and treat patients who have serious injuries or illnesses. Generally, you should visit A&E or call 999 for emergencies, such as:
loss of consciousness,
persisting abdominal pain that is not relieved by simple analgesia,
acute confused state,
persistent, severe chest pain, or breathing difficulties.
If you're injured or seriously ill, you should go, or be taken, to A&E.
If an ambulance is needed you can call 999, the emergency phone number in the UK. You can also dial 112, which is the equivalent for the European Union.
Major A&E departments offer access 365 days a year and usually open 24 hours a day. Be aware that not all hospitals have an A&E
Acute diarrhoea is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection and affects almost everyone from time to time.
A common cause in both children and adults is gastroenteritis, an infection of the bowel.
Bouts of diarrhoea in adults may also be brought on by anxiety or drinking too much coffee or alcohol.
Diarrhoea may also be a side effect of a medication.
Drink plenty of fluids.
If you are on a tablet called an ACE inhibitor or ARB or on a strong diuretic like furosemide, you should stop this for 3 days or until your diarrhoea has settled. If you have not already been given an advice leaflet about this please contact your GP.
<h3><img style="float: right; margin: 4px; border-width: 0px;" alt="ipod" src="/images/stethMP3.jpg" width="150" height="150" />First Aid - MP3 Downloads</h3> <p>To save them on your computer, right-click on any of the links below and then click 'Save Target As..." . Click on any of the links below to play the audio files: </p> <p><a title="Burns podcast" href="http://www.secamb.nhs.uk/Files/burns.mp3" rel="nofollow" linkindex="67"> <strong> <span color="#964646" style="color: #964646;">Burns </span> </strong> </a>- Explains the immediate treatment for burns and scalds.</p> <p><a title="Fits podcast" href="http://www.secamb.nhs.uk/files/fits.mp3" rel="nofollow" linkindex="68"> <strong> <span color="#964646" style="color: #964646;">Fits </span> </strong> </a>- How to deal with fits (convulsions/seizures) in adults and young children.</p> <p><a title="Wounds" href="http://www.secamb.nhs.uk/files/wounds.mp3" rel="nofollow" linkindex="69"> <strong> <span color="#964646" style="color: #964646;">Wounds </span> </strong> </a> - Immediate actions for wounds, bleeding, and bleeding associated with fractures.</p> <p><a title="Unconcious Podcast" href="http://www.secamb.nhs.uk/files/breathing_but_unconscious.mp3" rel="nofollow" linkindex="70"> <strong> <span color="#964646" style="color: #964646;">Unconscious patient who is breathing </span> </strong> </a>- How to deal with an unrousable patient who IS breathing (includes recovery position)</p> <p><a title="CPR for Adults" href="http://www.secamb.nhs.uk/files/cpr.mp3" rel="nofollow" linkindex="71"> <strong> <span color="#964646" style="color: #964646;">CPR for adults </span> </strong> </a>- Adults who have collapsed, unrousable and NOT breathing.</p> <p><a title="CPR for babies" href="http://www.secamb.nhs.uk/files/cpr_baby.mp3" rel="nofollow" linkindex="72"> <strong> <span color="#964646" style="color: #964646;">CPR for babies </span> </strong> </a>- Babies who are unrousable and NOT breathing.</p> <p><a title="Collapsed Patient" href="http://www.secamb.nhs.uk/files/collapsed.mp3" rel="nofollow" linkindex="73"> <strong> <span color="#964646" style="color: #964646;">Collapsed patient in detail </span> </strong> </a>- Explains the complete scenario including checks for breathing, circulation, etc.</p> <p><em>These files have been prepared by </em> <a href="http://www.secamb.nhs.uk/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" linkindex="74"> <em> <span color="#964646" style="color: #964646;">Sussex Ambulance Service </span> </em> </a> <em>and comply with European Resuscitation Council Guidelines.</em></p> <p></p> <hr /> <h3>Other Links</h3> <p align="left"><a href="http://www.redcross.org.uk/What-we-do/First-aid" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" linkindex="77"> <span color="#964646" style="color: #964646;">British Red Cross - First Aid Tips</span> </a> <br />Simple, straightforward and easy to understand first aid tips</p> <p align="left"><a href="http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/first-aid-advice.aspx" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" linkindex="79"> <span color="#964646" style="color: #964646;">St Johns Ambulance<br /></span> </a>St John Ambulance believes that everyone should learn at least the basic first aid techniques.</p> <hr /> <p><em>These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.</em></p>
A cold is a mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It can cause nasal stuffiness, a runny nose, sneezing, a sore throat and a cough. Usually it's a self-limiting infection; this means it gets better by itself without the need for treatment.On average, adults have two to five colds each year and school-age children can have up to eight colds a year. Adults who come into contact with children tend to get more colds. This is because children usually carry more of the virus, for longer.
In the UK, you're more likely to get a cold during the winter months although the reasons why aren't fully understood at present.
For most people, a cold will get better on its own within a week of the symptoms starting without any specific treatment.
However, there are treatments that can help to ease your symptoms and make you feel more comfortable. These are available from your pharmacy, which means that you can treat yourself, rather than needing to see your GP.
There is no cure for colds. Antibiotics, which treat infections caused by bacteria, don't work on cold viruses.
There are a number of self-help measures that may help to ease the symptoms of a cold.Drinking enough fluids to prevent dehydration.
Steam inhalations with menthol, salt water nasal sprays or drops may be helpful.
Vapour rubs may help relieve symptoms for children.
Hot drinks (particularly with lemon), hot soups and spicy foods can help to ease irritation and pain in your throat.
Sucking sweets or lozenges which contain menthol or eucalyptus may sooth your throat.
Gargling with salt water may help a sore throat.
You should try to make sure you get enough rest if you have a cold.
It's not usually necessary to stay off work or school.