13 January 2017
Local residents are being urged to get their flu jab, following a rise in the number of influenza cases in the area.
Crewe’s Leighton Hospital has closed three wards to admissions and visitors after it was confirmed that a small number of patients had the illness.
Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which manages the hospital, has taken the step in to reduce the risk of flu spreading.
The Trust is now reminding the public of the simple steps to follow to further minimise the risk.
Karen Egan, Head of Nursing for Infection Prevention and Control at the Trust, said: “Our patients with influenza are recovering relatively quickly, but it’s not always the case and there are steps we can all take to limit the effects on the hospital and our patients.
“We would encourage the public not to visit the hospital if they have recently been unwell or had recent contact with someone with flu-like symptoms.
“If visiting is necessary, please ensure you wash your hands when you enter and exit a ward and that you don’t visit other patients or other areas of the hospital. It’s also advisable to avoid bringing children.”
Maintaining good cough and hand hygiene, such as covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough and sneeze, disposing of the tissue as soon as possible, and cleaning your hands as soon as you can, are important actions that can help prevent the spread of germs and reduce the risk of transmission.
For those who are otherwise fit and healthy, there is usually no need to see a doctor if you have flu-like symptoms. These can include sudden onset of fever, a cough as well as a sore throat, and aching muscles.
Instead, people are advised to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water. Paracetamol or ibuprofen can also be taken to lower a high temperature and relieve aches if necessary.
Karen added: “For most people influenza is just a nasty experience that lasts for around a week, but for some it can be life threatening.
“The vaccine is still the best protection we have against flu and it’s still available to members of the public. We therefore urge anyone who belongs to an ‘at risk’ group to get their free flu vaccination as soon as possible.”
A flu vaccine is available free of charge for anyone over the age of 65, pregnant women, children and adults with an underlying health condition, and children and adults with weakened immune systems.
An annual flu vaccine nasal spray is also now offered to healthy children aged two, three and four-years-old, and to children in school years one and two.
Further information on flu and how to get your vaccination can be found by visiting www.nhs.uk/flu.