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Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Keep germs under control

22 January 2016

Flu jab advert 2015

People in Worcestershire are being urged to keep the bugs at bay by preventing the spread of germs, including staying away from visiting hospital if you are suggering from flu like symptoms.

Everyone can play their part in helping to stop the spread of flu and other viruses throughout their communities.

Most people will catch a cold during the winter months, resulting in a runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and a cough. A few simple steps can help to ensure it is not passed to someone else.

Dr Andy Phillips, Interim Chief Medical Officer at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Colds and flu viruses can be spread through droplets coughed and sneezed out by an infected person. The viruses can also be transferred by a person's fingers or surfaces, such as door handles, if there are infected droplets on them.

“That is where we can play our part in helping to stop the spread of these germs by using simple hygiene rules. This includes carrying tissues whenever possible, using them to catch coughs or sneezes, then binning the used tissues as soon as possible. Also washing hands regularly with soap and water kills the germs.”

Disposing of tissues correctly and keeping hands clean can help prevent the spread of the common cold and the more serious flu virus.

Andy Phillips added: “Germs spread easily so it’s really important we help the vulnerable in our society such as the very young and the very old to stay well this winter. Hands can transfer germs to any surface you touch so by keeping hands clean we can help minimise the spread of infections.”

It’s also not too late for people in ‘at risk’ groups to help protect themselves with the flu vaccine for free. This includes those with health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart, lung, liver or renal diseases, those with weakened immune systems, as well as older people, those with learning disabilities and pregnant women. Vaccines are available until March 2016, so contact your local GP or pharmacy.

For more information visit www.nhs.uk/staywell

Page last updated: 22 January 2016