, UK United Kingdom (PressExposure) January 04, 2008 -- Boots are warning that Britain is in the grip of a cold snap, but rather than indicating the onset of a traditional white Christmas, Boots are cautioning that Brits are facing the worst spell of colds and flu to hit the country this year.
According to Boots, the run up to Christmas is the snottiest one of the year, with two thirds of the country set to be laid up and reaching for the tissues. Sales of cold and flu remedies are predicted to peak, as stressed out Brits struggle to cope with party excesses and last minute Christmas gift shopping.
Professor Ron Eccles of the Common Cold Centre in Cardiff says, âStress levels do seem to affect how susceptible we are to illness. In clinical studies, volunteers who had recently experienced stress were more susceptible to catching the cold virus than those who hadnât. Any form of stress will lower our resistance to infection by depressing the immune response."
He continued, âAlthough we may take holidays as a leisure activity, many psychologists classify vacations as a major source of anxiety. All the last minute worries can take their toll and leave us more vulnerable to sickness just when we want to be on top form.â
Boots pharmacist Angela Chalmers said, âMake sure you look after yourself in the run up to Christmas, try not to have too many consecutive late nights, eat well and wrap up warmly. Taking a supplement such as echinacea can help support your immune system and a healthy immune system helps fight off infection. If you are already coughing and sneezing, make sure you wash your hands regularly to help prevent the spread of germs to other people."
She added, âIf you do get struck down, then get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids such as water and fruit juice and ask your Boots pharmacy team for advice."
To aid awareness and help people combat health problems, such as how to help relieve colds and the flu, Boots have partnered with the British Medical Journal and set up a health information site called ask boots, providing free independent expert health information and topical health news.