Many people are presenting to GP surgeries across Cardiff & the Vale with a persistent cough.
Doctors are reporting a high number of people suffering with a prolonged, hacking cough that is lasting longer than usual.
But they are stressing to the public that there’s little the local GP can do to help as antibiotics have no effect on these viruses.
Barry GP Dr Anna Kuczynska said: “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.”
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is urging those suffering from a persistent cough to heed doctor’s advice and save valuable space in GP surgeries for other patients.
The UHB is sharing a chart that outlines a number of common illnesses that a GP cannot help with. It highlights how long they need to run their course and when to seek further help.
The health service across Cardiff and the Vale has been under increased pressure in the last week in both the community and in hospitals. A rise in winter bugs like flu and norovirus has also had an impact on hospital beds.
University Hospital of Wales has seen a 25% increase in the number of ambulances attending its Emergency Unit on some days this week and is urging the public to
make best use of local pharmacy, opticians and NHS Direct Wales’ symptom checker.
Steve Curry, the Interim Chief Operating Officer for the health board, said: “There has been increased pressure over the last few days as expected and we have increased capacity as part of our winter plans.
“I would like to thank staff for their continuing hard work and ask the public to play their part by using the full range of health services available in the community such as their local chemist and optician who can help with a number of ailments that people often go to the GP for.
“We also ask everyone to practice good hand hygiene to help fight the spread of common winter bugs and to avoid visiting hospitals if they have flu like or norovirus like symptoms.”
The health board is also urging people to heed general winter weather advice on being careful in cold and icy conditions and checking on elderly relatives and neighbours to make sure they are keeping warm and well.