People are encouraged to ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ by carrying tissues with them to catch coughs and sneezes. Once a tissue has been used, throw it away, straight away. Good hygiene is also essential to help prevent the spread of germs, especially having a good hand washing technique. Washing hands properly should take about 20 seconds, about the time it takes to sing ‘happy birthday’ twice. More information about hand washing can be found on the NHS Choices website.
Winter the most common time of year for norovirus – also known as the winter vomiting bug. It causes diarrheoa, vomiting and can be extremely unpleasant, but, it normally clears up by itself after a few days. Advice for managing norovirus is to stay at home as the condition can easily spread to other people. The NHS Choices website - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/norovirus/ - has further advice on how to manage norovirus and when to seek medical advice.
Dr Dave Tatham, clinical lead for urgent and emergency care at the CCGs said: “Feeling unwell is unpleasant at any time of year. People tend to spread illnesses by visiting hospital and trying to go to school or work when they should be resting at home.”
“Many common winter illnesses will clear up on their own and the NHS Choices website – www.nhs.uk – has lots of advice about how to manage them yourself at home. If you do need advice, visit your local pharmacy. Pharmacists are highly trained and can provide friendly, expert advice on common health conditions such as diarrhoea, a runny nose or a painful cough or headache. You do not need an appointment to visit a pharmacist and they can provide useful information on over-the-counter medicines. For symptoms that are not clearing up, contact your GP.”
“When children go back to school, and people go back to work, A&E departments and emergency services can get particularly busy. Unless you are experiencing a serious or life-threatening condition, A&E and emergency departments are not the place to get advice quickly and you could find you’re in for a wait.”
“If you need urgent medical help but it’s not a life-threatening emergency, you can call NHS 111 who can provide advice and information. Calls are free and lines are open 24/7, 365 days-a-year.”