With Northamptonshire hospitals seeing an increase in the number of patients with symptoms of flu and norovirus, the local NHS is urging people to avoid visiting if they know or suspect they may be infected.
Doctor Emma Donnelly, a local GP, said: “Flu and norovirus (diarrhoea and vomiting) are highly infectious viruses. Symptoms are extremely unpleasant in a healthy person but normally settle without medical input. For patients who are already extremely poorly or are vulnerable because they are very young or elderly, becoming infected could prove more serious and it is important to reduce risk of passing on infection to them.
“We are urging anyone who suspects or knows they are infected with either flu or norovirus to think of others by not risking spreading the virus any further. Please stay away from GP practices and do not visit friends and family who are in hospital until at least 48 hours after symptoms have passed.
“Symptoms for diarrhoea, vomiting and flu will usually pass in a few days with plenty of bed rest, fluids and paracetamol for tummy cramps or temperature. Washing your hands regularly reduces the risk of passing on the infection to other members of your household. If your symptoms are getting worse or are not improving please contact NHS 111.”
If you do need health advice in Northamptonshire you can seek from:
Your local pharmacy – Many common illnesses such as diarrhoea and vomiting and flu can be best and most easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy. You can speak to a pharmacist without having to make an appointment. Your pharmacist can advise you how to look after yourself at home with rest and over-the-counter treatments, and provide advice on how on how to quit smoking. Many also offer the flu vaccination. To find your local pharmacy and the services it offers, visit nhs.uk.
NHS 111 service – If you need medical help quickly, but your condition is not life threatening, you can call NHS 111. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the free telephone service is staffed by trained advisors and experienced clinicians who can assess you, offer advice and direct you to the right place to get the medical care you need as quickly as possible. You can also get advice and speak with an advisor online at https://111.nhs.uk/
Patients who are eligible can avoid becoming infected by taking up the offer of a free flu jab with their GP Practice. Speak to your practice today to make an appointment