FEATURE: Helping beat the winter blues

Winter is imminent and with dropping temperatures viruses are bound to be more prevalent, exacerbating health problems among the vulnerable and immunocompromised
patients. This can cause serious complications, and therefore, it’s important to know the symptoms, methods to manage them and when to refer.

A healthy person can usually manage the illnesses with over-the counter medication. Colds, flu and Covid-19 are caused by different viruses. As some of their
overlap, it may be hard to tell the difference. However, some key differences are shown in the following figure.

It is also possible to suffer from cold/flu and Covid-19 simultaneously, which can complicate matters. As per NHS guidelines, anyone with fever, cough, loss/change
in sense of taste and/or smell has to self-isolate and request a Covid test.

Pharmacy Advice
The pharmacy team should advise patients with symptoms to take rest, ensure adequate hydration and take balanced nutrition. Supplements such as Vitamin C, Vitamin
D and zinc can also help to boost the immune system and can be recommended.