The jolly season has flown by which means the cold weather is going to kick in. ‘Tis the season to be sick.


The New Year has begun and most people find this time inspiring as they make their new year’s resolutions and goals. One of the most common wishes is health which, at the start of the year, isn’t granted for many. The change in weather, the unbalanced food intake/not drinking enough water can significantly impact our immune system which may lead to illnesses.


Small illnesses such as the flu may seem inconsequential due to its diminutive symptoms that don’t seem to affect people’s quality of life compared to other illnesses. This is not the case. If these small symptoms aren’t taken care of properly, they might develop into something bigger. The people that are vulnerable to these issues are children and older people. The NHS has a website which allows people to educate themselves on what they can do to protect their family.


‘‘The children's flu vaccine is offered as a yearly nasal spray to young children to help protect them against flu. Flu can be a very unpleasant illness for children, with potentially serious complications, including bronchitis and pneumonia.’’


I was one of the victims this year. Progressively getting worse, I decided to go A&E. There were so many people waiting to see a doctor, and the number of patients that had blocked noses and sore throats was alarming.  Some were in better positions compared to others…the doctors advised people to first go to their local GP. Something that was brought to my attention by the doctor was that most people don’t remember to take the flu shot which is provided by their GP, this can save a visit to the hospital. It takes around 3 hours to be seen by a doctor – envisage waiting all that time, only to be told that your situation isn’t as serious as it looks like.


Health is something that many people take for granted. Looking after yourself, especially during this time is vital. Good health does lead to a good quality of life.

Mariana Agrela Sardinha