HACKING COUGH EPIDEMIC CANNOT BE CURED WITH ANTIBIOTICS, DOCTORS WARN.
High numbers of patients are visiting their GP for coughs that cannot be remedied with prescription drugs, adding strain to surgeries that are already under pressure.
According to NHS England, there’s usually no need to visit your GP if you or your child have a mild cough Getty.
A hacking cough affecting thousands of patients this winter cannot be cured with antibiotics, doctors have warned.
The lingering illness, that can last several weeks, has been caught by so many people this year that health experts in Wales have issued a public message urging sufferers to stay away from their GP surgery.
The health boards covering Wales’ two largest cities stressed there is little doctors can do to help the cough, since antibiotics have no effect on these viruses.
Instead, patients are advised to rest and take plenty of fluids.
Cardiff GP Dr Anna Kuczynska told Wales Online : “We know there is a particularly nasty, persistent cough in the community that lasts a number of weeks and is leading a lot of people to attend their GP surgery.
“Unfortunately, in most cases, unless the patient has another underlying chronic condition for example, heart or lung disease or diabetes, there is often nothing the GP can do to help other than recommend resting and drinking plenty of fluids.
“Antibiotics will be of no help for most normally healthy people. If you see blood or are breathless with your symptoms, have lost weight or symptoms are on-going more than three weeks, patients should get advice.”
Chief medical officer Dr Frank Atherton also warned that visiting a GP or requesting unnecessary help for a cough or a cold could take valuable appointments away from those in real need.
He said: “In many cases, people go to emergency units when they could have received the same advice from a local pharmacist or been seen and assessed in a minor injuries unit, GP surgery out of hours doctor.
”The message is clear. Choose well to help save lives.“
Advice from NHS England states that there is usually no need to visit your GP if you or your child have a mild cough for a week or two. However, you should seek medical advice if:
- You’ve had a cough for more than three weeks
- Your cough is particularly severe or getting worse
- You cough up blood or experience shortness of breath, breathing difficulties or chest pain
- You have any other worrying symptoms, such as unexplained weight loss, a persistent change in your voice, or lumps or swellings in your neck
FROM: RACHAEL PELLS / INDEPENDENT.CO.UK
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