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Flu sufferers being urged to ‘think carefully’ before seeking assistance

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WITH a recent rise in the number of recorded cases, health professionals are reminding people affected by flu to think carefully before seeking further medical assistance.

To ensure busy emergency services and GP practices are able to save lives and help those most in need, it is important to remember the vast majority of healthy people with symptoms of flu don’t need to see a doctor.

Flu is a viral infection for which antibiotics are not helpful – instead, the advice if you believe you may have flu symptoms is to stay home from work, school and other public places for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone to avoid infecting other people, drink plenty of fluids, take ibuprofen or paracetamol and avoid any contact particularly with vulnerable individuals while you have symptoms.

Most people will feel better within a week of becoming infected with the flu virus, although coughing may last for another one or two weeks. People are advised to have a look at the NHS Direct Wales symptom checker for cold and flu advice.

Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda explains how people can look after themselves this winter: “The first line of defence should be for people to get their flu vaccination so I would urge those of you that haven’t had your vaccine to contact your community pharmacy for advice on whether you are eligible. This is particularly important as we are now seeing cases of flu in the community, with numbers set to rise over the coming weeks.

“Free flu vaccination is available every year to people in at-risk groups – including those aged 65 and over, people with certain long-term health conditions, pregnant women, frontline healthcare workers, carers and young children. Anyone who has missed out on vaccination this year should speak to their pharmacist for advice; it is not too late for you to protect yourself and your family by having the flu vaccine.

“Health and social care workers are also strongly advised to get their flu vaccination from their local occupational health departments to protect the patients they care for.

“Viruses such as flu can be extremely serious for sick and vulnerable patients and we are asking for your support to protect patients and healthcare workers including not going to visit patients in hospitals and care homes if feeling unwell, we want to limit the spread of conditions such as flu and Norovirus.”

To help reduce the chances of flu spreading, people should:
•         Catch it: always cough or sneeze into a tissue
•         Bin it: dispose of the tissue after use
•         Kill it: then wash your hands or use hand sanitizer to kill any flu viruses

The public are also reminded to use local community pharmacy services to help reduce pressure on busy A&E departments this winter. These include a Common Ailments Service which covers a number of conditions whereby participating pharmacists can assess and provide medication at no charge, if suitable, without the need for a prescription and also, in participating community pharmacies, the Triage and Treat service to support those affected by low-level injury or illness. Visit www.hyweldda.wales.nhs.uk/winterwise for further details.

Mrs Jervis added: “We’re asking people who may be experiencing flu-like symptoms to call their GP surgery or visit https://www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/SelfAssessments/symptomchecker/coldflu rather than attend the surgery or an A&E department, which can increase the risk of spreading infection to others.”

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Man dies following Christmas Eve assault

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LLANELLI JOINT INVESTIGATION UNIT is investigating a serious assault on a man that occurred just after midnight on Sunday, December 24, 2017, at Vista Lounge, Llanelli.

The victim – 52-year-old Denzil Vaughan Edwards – has today (Jan 17) tragically passed away following a period of medical attention at the Heath hospital, Cardiff. His family is being supported by specialist officers.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers are making a further appeal for information about the incident, and would like to speak to anyone who has not yet been in contact with the police.

Any witnesses, or anyone who was at Vista Lounge on Saturday, December 23, into the early hours of Sunday, December 24, are urged to contact DS Ceri Evans or DC Amy Davies by calling 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A 36-year-old local man was arrested on suspicion of assault on December 24 and is currently on police bail.

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Police advise ‘hang up on suspicious callers’

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A NATIONAL telephone scam, aiming to steal money, has reached residents living within the Dyfed-Powys area.

Paul Callard, of Dyfed-Powys Police’s Financial Crime Team, said: “Action Fraud has today  made us aware three people living in Dyfed-Powys have been contacted by fraudsters claiming to be from BT, in the past four days. While three people have reported, we suspect many more have been targeted.

“Victims receive a telephone call from someone pretending to be from BT who is calling due to a problem with the victim’s internet connection speed. During the call the victim is asked to open their online banking, eBay, Tesco and other accounts. The scammer then tries to gain remote access to the victim’s computer to empty the victim’s bank account.

“BT will never ask for remote access to your computer or access to your online bank account. We urge anyone who receives unsolicited/cold calls from any company hang up immediately. Do not enter into conversation with them, provide them with any personal details or send them any money. You should only phone the company back using a trusted phone number.”

If you have been the victim of fraud, attempted fraud, or cyber crime, or have received a potential scam message or computer virus but no money has been lost or you haven’t responded to it, report it to Action Fraud either online or by calling 0300 123 2040.

For further advice and information on how to avoid being scammed visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.

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Man consumed ‘six treble vodkas’ as he looked after children

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A CARMARTHENSHIRE man found in public with his two young children after he drank six treble vodkas appeared before magistrates in Llanelli on Thursday (Jan 11)

The man, in his 40s, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to two charges of being drunk in charge of a child under the age of seven.

Lisa Jones, prosecuting, requested that the case be adjourned for a pre-sentence report.

She told the court that last September police officers spoke to the man, who had two children with him – one in a pram.

The officers could smell alcohol and he said that he had only had six drinks but was unsteady on his feet.

The defendant went on to say that he had not slept for the past five days, had consumed six treble vodka-and-cokes that day and thought he was ‘tipsy’.

There was a bottle of clear liquid under the pram which was established to be vodka. The man admitted to drinking once a week and said that the children had eaten four hours previously.

Sentencing was adjourned for three weeks to allow the probation services to carry out a full report. The defendant was released on unconditional bail until then.

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