Wellington Free Ambulance and Wellington Regional Hospital see an increase in flu and related illnesses – and a worsening of chronic conditions – during winter.
“People with existing health conditions are impacted most. Conditions like asthma and chronic respiratory diseases can take a turn for the worse,” said Wellington Free operations manager Geoff Procter.
“It’s best to keep warm, eat sensibly, and get the flu vaccination. Sick people should stay home, drink plenty of fluids and see their GP if they aren’t recovering.”
Everyone is at risk of illness over winter, but the young and the elderly are most vulnerable. Trying to stay well may prevent the need to for a hospital visit.
“High patient numbers during winter mean people coming to ED with non-urgent needs will wait longer to see a doctor. Prevention is key to avoiding that,” said chief medical officer John Tait.
“It can be difficult to know if you need emergency care. Anyone unsure should contact their GP, or Healthline – 0800 611 116 – for free advice from a registered nurse. If it is an emergency, dial 111.”
Details about after-hours medical clinics and pharmacies are available on our website.