Editorial: Winter ills not to be sneezed at

By Linda Hall

What a difference a day makes.

We have gone from clear blue skies and sunshine to dismal grey skies and persistent rain.

In fact, on Saturday Hawke's Bay had the national high of 21C, the average for July is 15C.

However, the days ahead are not so bright with a severe weather warning issued for Hawke's Bay and rain and cold conditions predicted.

But despite the lovely warm July we have had, every other person I have talked to has been coughing, sneezing, or complaining about how horrible they have been feeling.

Even I, who always boasts about never being sick, have been bowled by a nasty stomach bug and now I'm left with a cough that just won't quit.

And it seems I'm not alone.

Hawke's Bay Hospital is nearly full.

Chief operating officer Warrick Frater said people were turning up with a range of winter illnesses and those needing longer stays had seen Hawke's Bay Hospital near full capacity.

"A full hospital meant people could expect to wait a long time in the Emergency Department," Mr Frater said.

Not good but that's what happens in winter.

But what makes this even more concerning is that Mr Frater says that "so far there had not been any impact from influenza, although that could change quite quickly".

So people, if you feel sick, stay home.

If you need something ring a friend or a family member, but don't go out spreading your germs about.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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