Don't Confuse Symptoms of Poisoning with the Flu; as the Weather Begins to Get Colder, Wales' Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Jewell Warns about the Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), November 21, 2011 | Go to article overview

Don't Confuse Symptoms of Poisoning with the Flu; as the Weather Begins to Get Colder, Wales' Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Jewell Warns about the Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning


Byline: Dr Tony Jewell

FOLLOWING last year's prolonged and viciously cold spell, it's time to start thinking about preparing ourselves for this winter.

The Welsh Government's Keep Well This Winter and Choose Well campaigns are two important sources of information to prepare you for the winter months.

Winter sees an increase in illnesses and injuries. Cold weather increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia, flu and other diseases. Slips and falls in the snow or ice also cause serious injuries.

Being cold over a prolonged period of time can make you ill, particularly if you are in one of the groups who are more susceptible to the effects of very cold weather, such as older people, the very young and people with pre-existing medical conditions.

In most cases, simple preventive action could avoid illness and injury.

Dressing in lots of light layers and regular hot drinks will help to keep you warm. Eating well during the winter months is equally important.

Keeping your home warm is vital; keeping living rooms at around 21C during the day and 18C at night will help to prevent you becoming ill because of the cold.

Choose Well asks Welsh patients to choose the best place to get treatment if they fall ill, to help ease the pressure on the emergency services and A&E departments.

People aren't always aware of all of the services that exist or how they should be used. The Choose Well campaign helps people access the right services, at the right time to meet their healthcare needs.

We want to make sure people living in Wales get the right care in the right place at the right time.

As our heating systems begin to rattle and hiss into life after lying dormant through the summer months, we should all be very aware of a silent killer.

Today marks the start of carbon monoxide week, and I and my colleague Professor Jean White, the chief nursing officer, have written to the NHS asking them to be mindful of this insidious threat. …

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