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02/01/18

Fight back against the spread of germs as new school term starts

As children across Bradford District and Craven head back to school this week, the local NHS is warning about the spread of germs.

As well as picking up some presents or some bargains over the holidays, many people also catch common illnesses, such as coughs, colds and flu. As people start to get back into their normal routine following the Christmas and New Year break, it’s the perfect time for germs to spread. 

NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, Bradford City and Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) want to make people aware of some basic advice that teachers, parents and children can do to fight back.

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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.”

More information about common winter illnesses can be found on the NHS Choices website.

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