Winter vomit bug advice

People with the diarrhoea and vomiting bug are being asked to avoid GP surgeries and hospitals.
People with the diarrhoea and vomiting bug are being asked to avoid GP surgeries and hospitals.

NHS East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is asking people with the diarrhoea and vomiting bug to keep it to themselves.

Sufferers in the Bridlington and district area are urged to avoid GP surgeries and hospitals as the peak norovirus season approaches.

Although it can be caught at any time of the year, norovirus is often referred to as the winter vomiting bug as it is more common through the winter.

It is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK and affects people of all ages.

The bug is highly contagious and can be spread by coming into contact with an infected person, a contaminated surface or by consuming contaminated food and water.

Closed spaces, such as hospitals, schools and care homes enable the bug to spread rapidly and an outbreak can close down hospital wards, which has a knock on effect throughout the local NHS and social care system.

Paula South, director of quality and integrated governance/executive nurse at NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG has said: “There is no treatment for norovirus, but it is important for people who do have the bug to keep hydrated.

“Most people will recover within a few days, without any long-term effects.

“People who are infected are usually contagious from the moment they begin to feel ill until at least three days after they recover. We would strongly urge anyone who thinks they may be infected to stay at home, so not to risk spreading the virus further.”

Doctors at the CCG are also reminding local residents to make sure they stock up on necessary medicines now to stay well over the New Year period.

Residents, particularly those with a long-term condition, should make sure they get their prescription medicines before pharmacies and GP practices close.

The CCG is in the middle of a public consultation on Urgent Care Services.

However, the six minor Injury Units throughout East Riding of Yorkshire are still open.

Patients should use a local minor injury unit when they need treatment for a minor injury that does not require a visit to A&E or medical appointment.

Dr Gina Palumbo, local GP and chairwoman for East Riding of Yorkshire CCG, said: “During the winter an increase in winter illnesses and injuries puts additional pressure on health services, so it’s important to use your NHS wisely. Self-care is important all year round but can be particularly essential during the winter months.”