The Norovirus season is fast approaching
Are you prepared to ‘Stop the spread’?
- Norovirus is highly contagious and spreads easily from person to person
- Norovirus can be transmitted by consuming contaminated food or water or by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects
- Norovirus can survive for several days in a contaminated area
- Norovirus spreads rapidly in enclosed environments such as GP surgeries
- Norovirus symptoms are distinctive, primarily presenting with sudden onset of diarrhoea and/or projectile vomiting and nausea – other symptoms include raised low-grade fever, headaches and stomach cramps
- Alcohol hand rub is not effective against Norovirus
Stop the spread by:
- Washing hands thoroughly using liquid soap and warm running water and dry them
- Washing hands after using the toilet, before preparing food and eating
- Thoroughly disinfecting any surfaces which may become contaminated
- Washing any items of contaminated clothing, bedding or towels in a separate hot wash or at the highest temperature recommended by the manufacturer
And remember, if you have symptoms:
- Stay hydrated – drink plenty of fluids
- Consult a pharmacist for advice on over the counter medicines to reduce fever, aches or pains
- Get plenty of rest
- Do not visit vulnerable family or friends, especially if they are in hospital
- Stay away from work for 48 hours until after symptoms have stopped
- An infection with Norovirus is self-limiting with most recovering within 48 hours, however, if symptoms persist telephone your GP or NHS 111 to get medical advice.
Whooping Cough in Pregnancy
Women who are 16 or more weeks pregnant are reminded to get vaccinated against whooping cough (pertussis). This will help to protect children from birth until they are old enough to be immunised themselves.
The best time to get the vaccine is between 16 and 32 weeks of pregnancy, but if a woman misses out she can still get it later in pregnancy.
However, the best protection to the baby is when the mother gets the vaccine as close to the recommended time as possible.
The vaccine is given at GP surgeries.
The baby’s risk of being infected is reduced by more than 90 per cent if the mother gets the vaccine.
Whooping cough (pertussis) is a disease that can cause long bouts of coughing and choking which can make it hard to breathe.
It can be very serious for infants under the age of one year, and even fatal for young babies.
Parents should be alert to the signs and symptoms of whooping cough, which include severe coughing fits along with the characteristic ‘whoop’ sound in young children, and a prolonged cough in older children or adults.
Very young babies may not develop the ’whoop’ but have severe coughing bouts and can’t catch their breath.
It’s also advisable to keep babies away from anyone showing the signs and symptoms of whooping cough.
If you are pregnant, you need a flu jab to help protect you and your baby.
The flu jab is the best way to help avoid flu and any serious complications it can cause.
It’s free because you need it, however many months pregnant y0u are and however fir and healthy you may feel.
Book an appointment today
Flu Eligibility: 2020/21
- All those aged two to ten (but not eleven years or older) on 31st August 2020. Those aged two and three years old on 31st August 2020 (but not four years old) are eligible for vaccination in general practice. All primary school children (those aged 4 to 10 years old on 31st August 2020) are eligible for flu vaccination in school. There are two types of flu vaccine available for children in 2020/21 – the “Live” nasal spray vaccine and the inactivated injected flu vaccine.
- People aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups
- All pregnant women (including those who become pregnant during flu season)
- People aged 65 years and over (including those becoming 65 years by 31st March 2020
- People living in long stay residential care homes or other long stay facilities
- Household contacts of immunocompromised individuals
Frontline health and social care workers with direct patient/service user contact should be provided with flu vaccination by their employer. This includes staff in all NHS Trusts, General Practices, Care Homes and Domiciliary Care. NHS England will continue to support vaccination of social care and hospice workers, with vaccination available through community pharmacy or their registered GP practice.
Studies have shown that the pneumococcal vaccine provides some protection against a form of bacterial meningitis caused by pneumococcal bacteria and other conditions such as severe ear infections. The vaccine doesn’t protect against all types of pneumococcal infection and doesn’t protect against meningitis caused by other bacteria or viruses.
The pneumococcal vaccine’s recommended for many of the same people who receive an annual flu vaccine and other selected groups of people at higher risk of developing complications from pneumococcal infection.
The pneumococcal vaccine’s usually only given once in a lifetime.
Who need a pneumococcal vaccination?
Anyone aged 65 years or over is eligible for the vaccine. GPs may, at their own discretion, provide immunisation to anyone under 65 with the following or serious medical conditions:
- Problems with the spleen, either because the spleen has been removed or doesn’t work properly – for example sickle cell disorder and coeliac disease
- Chronic lung disease, including chronic bronchitis or emphysema
- Serious heart conditions
- Severe kidney disease
- Long term liver disease
- Diabetes requiring medication
- Lowered immunity due to disease or treatment – for example HIV, chemotherapy for cancer or long term oral steroids for conditions such as asthma
- Cochlear implants
- Individuals with cerebrospinal fluid leaks
- Children under 5 years of age who have previously had invasive pneumococcal disease, such as meningitis or bacteraemia
What’s pneumococcal infection and how’s it spread?
Pneumococcal infection’s caused by pneumococcal bacteria and can cause serious illnesses, such as pneumonia. Pneumococcal infections are also one of the most common causes of meningitis (an infection of the lining of the brain).
Some adults carry pneumococcal bacteria in the back of their nose and throat and can pass them around by coughing, sneezing and close contact. Usually this doesn’t result in serious illness.
Why should I worry about pneumococcal infection?
Pneumococcal infection can cause:
- Ear and sinus infections
- Life-threatening infection of the blood (septicaemia)
- Pneumonia (which is also life threatening)
People aged 65 or over, and adults with certain health conditions, have a higher chance of becoming unwell with pneumococcal infection. People aged 65 or over are more likely to suffer serious long-term health problems from pneumococcal infection.