A level 2 cold weather alert has been issued for the West Midlands.
Weather warning alerts have been issued for the West Midlands to expect severely cold weather, from Tuesday onwards, with widespread frosts.
Cold weather can lead to serious health problems and can 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 Norovirus, also start to spread at this time of year.
Two top tips for getting protected, are to have your free flu vaccination for those entitled, and ensure your home is heated to at least 18oC day and night.
Find out more about free flu vaccinations, if you are eligible, please contact your GP, Pharmacy or midwife to book it in. See if you are eligible here: https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/who-should-have-flu-vaccine.aspx
Help us challenge some of the myths around flu vaccination as it really is one of the best ways to keep well in the colder months: https://apps.warwickshire.gov.uk/api/documents/WCCC-630-483
To prevent the spread of tummy bugs people are reminded to wash hands and clean surfaces frequently if someone within the household is unwell and allow until 48 hours after you last had symptoms before returning to work or school.
Winter can be a difficult time for older people, so keep a check on older friends, neighbours and relatives and help them to stay well at home by making sure they are able to take care of themselves or with some help. This could include help with shopping, cooking and personal hygiene to help prevent them from getting ill.
Wrap up warm, inside and out at winter time. Several thin 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.
Cllr Kamran Caan, Coventry City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health and Sport, said: “Be a good neighbour, check in on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be vulnerable to the cold.
"One in three people in Coventry are entitled to a free flu vaccination. Although flu is a mild illness in most, it can and does kill. We urge people to contact their GP, Pharmacy or Midwife to make their appointment today and not to delay.”
For anyone living in Coventry who needs advice and is worried about keeping their home warm, there is a free service, run by the Affordable Warmth Team at Coventry City Council: http://www.coventry.gov.uk/info/65/home_energy_and_warmth/2783/getting_support_with_your_energy_bills/2
The service can also help with fuel bills and benefits advice entitlements, including whether you are eligible for heating and insulation measures – please do call 024 7683 2330 or see the website above.
For information about flu vaccinations, visit: www.coventry.gov.uk/flujab
For more advice about staying well this winter please see: nhs.uk/staywell