Wash your hands! NHS urges everyone to stay well
Tuesday 15th February, 2011
Washing your hands is one of your best defences against viruses. That’s the advice from the NHS in Sussex this week in a bid to help people stay well.
Vomiting and diarrhoea bugs spread easily through contact.
To avoid spreading them you should wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water, and if you are ill stay home.
Protect yourself against vomiting and diarrhoea bugs
The bugs – usually caused by a virus called norovirus - can cause a sudden attack of vomiting, often accompanied by diarrhoea and tummy pains.
The illness usually lasts around two days and most people can recover by resting at home and drinking plenty of fluids.
Reduce your chances of getting ill
Dr Yvonne Doyle, Regional Director of Public Health, NHS South East Coast said: “You can reduce your chances of becoming ill by paying attention to good hygiene – washing hands regularly helps stop viruses spreading.”
“If you are ill drink plenty of fluids, stay at home, rest up, and don't put others at risk. Don't take your child back to their school or nursery until they have been symptom free for at least 48 hrs.
“It’s also vital that if you get an upset tummy you do not visit hospitals or health facilities as this increases the risk of spreading the infection to vulnerable patients and staff. This can lead to wards being closed.”
Norovirus - what you can do
Norovirus can be more serious for some groups of people, especially the elderly and babies who can become dehydrated.
What you should do:
- Drinking plenty of liquids is essential.
- You should minimise your contact with other people until you have been symptom free for at least 48 hrs.
- If you’re concerned about yourself or someone you care for who is suffering from the vomiting bug you should ring your GP.
- If you’re not sure where to get help – or whether you need to see a doctor - call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
- Wherever possible, you should avoid going to hospitals or other care facilities unless absolutely necessary. This is to prevent the spread of the virus.
Do you know about the range of health services available in West Sussex? Find out more about the help you can access if you are ill from our Services section.