Health team warning about influenza outbreak

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(Last Updated On: February 15, 2017)

There is widespread influenza, commonly known as flu, activity nationwide and so Torbay Council’s Public Health Team, in partnership with Public Health England, are warning people about the prevention methods and symptoms.

Torbay’s Deputy Mayor and Executive Lead for Health and Wellbeing, Derek Mills, said: “It is important that we all look after ourselves at this time of year to prevent the spread of this illness. Please ensure that you get vaccinated if you are eligible and also take preventative measures to help keep yourself and others well.”

The best protection for influenza is the annual influenza vaccination if you eligible for it. These individuals are likely to be people over the age of 65, pregnant women, young children, individuals with long term health conditions and main carers for elderly or disabled individuals.

Some people are at greater risk of developing complications and becoming more seriously ill, these risk groups are:

• People aged 65 years and older
• Pregnant women
• Young children under 5 years old
• Individuals with long term health conditions

Common influenza symptoms are:

• A high temperature – greater or equal to 37.8°C
• Cough ( with or without saliva or mucus)
• Hoarseness
• Nasal discharge or congestion
• Shortness of breath
• Sore throat
• Wheezing
• Sneezing

It is important that the spreading of influenza is prevented as much as possible. There are several methods to do this:

• Stay off of work/school until your temperature is normal and you feel well enough to return
• Try to sneeze or cough into tissues and dispose of the tissues
• Ensure your home or workplace is well stocked with liquid soap and paper towels. Alcohol hand rub/gel may be also be used as an additional prevention method
• Regularly wash and dry your hands thoroughly, especially after sneezing or coughing
• Ensure your home is thoroughly cleaned, if this is appropriate, using hot water and detergent. Particular attention should be given to all surfaces that are frequently handled (e.g. door handles, eating surfaces, toilet areas)
• Do not visit elderly or vulnerable individuals if you suspect you are ill unless absolutely necessary

For more information, visit http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/Pages/Introduction.aspx

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