Colds and Flu
These usually start with a runny nose, cough, temperature and aches. They are caused by viruses and antibiotics are of no use in their treatment. Treatment consists of taking recommended doses of paracetamol for the temperature and aches, and drinking plenty of fluids. Do not worry if you lose your appetite, you will come to no harm.
Diarrhoea and Vomiting
In adults and older children, diarrhoea and vomiting will usually get better on its own. Treatment consists of replacing the fluid that has been lost and resting the digestive system by having nothing solid to ear for 24 hours. If the diarrhoea contains blood or there is severe pain or high fever , you should seek advice from your doctor.
Diarrhoea in babies and young children needs careful attention. Sudden bouts of unusually watery diarrhoea should be treated by taking the baby off solids and feeding a proprietary rehydrating solution. If the symptoms persist for more than 24 hours or are accompanied by persistent vomiting or weakness, please consult the doctor.
A temperature occurs commonly even with mild infections. In small children it is important to stop the temperature rising too quickly and children should be given paracetamol syrup. If they still appear hot, they should be gently sponged with tepid water in order to cool them. If a temperature is very high and does not come down with the above treatment, you should consult your doctor.
Many acute strains will respond to a few days’ rest and paracetamol taken for the pain. If the symptoms continue, you should consult your doctor.
Firstly, apply a cold compress containing ice (eg a packet of frozen peas) for 15 minutes to reduce swelling. Apply a firm crepe bandage and give a sprain plenty of rest until all the discomfort has subsided.
Insect Bites and Stings
Most of these need no treatment. Antihistamine tablets or cream can be obtained from the surgery and will usually relive most symptoms.
Sit in a chair, leaning slightly forward with your mouth open and pinch your nose just below the bone for about 10 minutes, by which time the bleeding usually stops. If the bleeding continues consult your doctor or attend the A&E Department at West Suffolk Hospital.
Apply cold water to the affected area as quickly as possible. If the skin is unbroken but blistered, apply a loose dressing, but if it is broken please consult your doctor. If the burn is extensive, dial 999.
Most stomach aches are not serious and are usually caused by indigestion and wind. If the pain becomes increasingly severe, you should consult your doctor.
On the first day a rash appears as small red patches about 3-4mm across. Within a few hours small blisters appear in the centre of these patches. During the next three or four days further patches will appear and the earlier ones will turn ‘crusty’ and fall off. Calamine Lotion may relieve the severe itching and cool baths may help. The most infectious period is from two or three days before the rash appears and up to five days after this date. Children may return to school as soon as the last ‘crusts’ have dropped off.
The rash appears during the first day of the illness and usually covers the body, arms and legs in small pink flat spots. The affected areas do not itch and there are usually no other symptoms apart from occasional aching joints. The condition is infectious from 2 days before the rash appears until it disappears within 4 or 5 days. The only danger is to unborn babies and it is important to avoid contact with ladies who are pregnant.
The rash is blotchy, appearing on the face and body on about the fourth day of feeling unwell. It is most infectious from 2 to 3 days before the rash appears until up to 10 days afterwards. Children are often quite unwell and may develop a high temperature. This can be treated with paracetamol, but if you are concerned please contact your doctor.
The symptoms are swelling of the salivary gland in the front of an ear, often followed a day of two later by a similar swelling in the front of the other ear. It is infectious for 2 or 3 days before the swelling starts until 10 days afterwards.