A WARNING over a rise in Norovirus and flu this winter has been issued by Coventry and Warwickshire public health officials to the vulnerable and families.
Dr Nadia Inglis, public health consultant for Coventry City Council and Warwickshire County Council, issued a statement as the cold snap of recent days took hold.
An accompanying statement on the Coventry council website adds: “Cold and flu viruses as well as tummy bugs such as Norovirus, are now starting to circulate more widely this year.”
Dr Inglis said: “As we are likely to be seeing some very cold temperatures and conditions, it is important for us to consider what we can do to prevent people in Coventry and Warwickshire falling ill with Norovirus – the winter vomiting disease.
“It is a highly infectious and unpleasant illness, which causes outbreaks in our schools, and closures in our hospitals and care homes.
“Similarly, we know that flu causes serious illness and can be a killer. Help to stop the spread of infections this winter by washing your hands with soap and water.”
Dr Jane Moore, director of public health at Coventry City Council, added: “Please remember that it is not too late to make sure those we care for are protected against flu.
“One in three people in Coventry is entitled to a free flu vaccination and we want to make sure everyone eligible is protected. This is a very important thing to do to help reduce outbreaks of infections this season.
“Be sure to check on family and neighbours and that they have all the food and medicines they need in this cold weather and that they are able to call anyone for help if needed.”
The statement on the Coventry council website adds the advice to prevent Norovirus spreading is to wash hands “regularly” with soap and water, ‘stay off work or school for 48 hours after your last symptoms, and do not visit relatives in care homes/hospital until 48 hours clear’.
Public health professionals have issued further advice to ensure homes are heated to at least 18C day and night.