People in South Lincolnshire are being urged to think about the medical care they need over the rest of the winter.
The area`s Clinical Commissioning Group wants to reduce pressure on GPs and drop-ins by encouraging over-the-counter medicines for coughs and colds – and also using pharmacists for other advice.
It says more help for common ailments should only be sought if symptoms persist.
The CCG says the following cold and flu facts might help:
Most cold and flu symptoms can be treated safely at home without the need for a GP;
If you want advice a pharmacist can help, or access information from a reputable source, such as NHS Choices;
Coughs can last three to four weeks;
In adults and older children, cold symptoms last for about a week and a half, and in younger children for up to two weeks. Symptoms are usually worst in the first two to three days, before they gradually start to improve.
Paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin can help reduce the symptoms of a cold. Avoid giving aspirin to children under the age of 16 and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Talk to your pharmacist about supplements that may help ease your symptoms.
Most colds are not serious and get better by themselves. Contact your pharmacy for advice or call your GP practice or NHS 111 if you develop a high temperature (above 39°C or 102.2°F), which can be a sign of a more serious type of infection;
Your sore throat is likely to get better within three to seven days (and a maximum of two weeks) without the need for treatment by a health professional. Most sore throats last for an average of eight days.
If you have a long-term condition and contract a cold or flu don’t forget to take your regular medication and speak to the pharmacist about any issues with taking other over the counter medicines as well.