Roadshow’s two-pronged attack on seasonal symptoms

Colds and Flu can be killers
Colds and Flu can be killers

A two-pronged attack on two common winter bugs is being launched at a series of roadshows organised by health experts from NHS Forth Valley.

Infection prevention and control specialists, together with staff from public health and occupational health, will be advising people how to prevent an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug, norovirus, and explaining what to do to keep flu at bay and ways to treat it should you be unlucky enough to catch it.

The team will be delivering the message on the following dates and locations from 1.00pm – 3.00pm.

12th September – Stirling Community Hospital, 16th September – Forth Valley Royal Hospital, 24th September – Falkirk Community Hospital, 4th October – Howgate Shopping Centre, Falkirk and 7th October at Forth Valley Royal Hospital where they will remind people that you don’t only contract Norovirus in hospital. People can bring it in from home during visits.

There will also be an opportunity for people to see how clean their hands really are by holding them under ultra violet light which shows up germs not visible to the naked eye.

NHS Forth Valley Interim Director of Public Health, Dr Graham Foster said: “Please help us to protect our patients by keeping Norovirus out of hospitals.

“Diarrhoea and vomiting is very common during the winter months so we are appealing to people with these symptoms to help us by staying away until they feel better. ”

This year NHS Forth Valley is also targeting a total of 33,000 children across the health board area as part of an extended national child flu immunisation programme.

Consultant in Public Health Medicine Dr Henry Prempeh added: “Flu can be very serious as even healthy children can become very unwell and, in some cases, may require to be admitted to hospital for treatment.

“I would therefore encourage parents across Forth Valley to take up the offer of this free vaccine.”

More than two million Scots will be offered the free flu vaccine after the national seasonal flu immunisation campaign launched this week.

People with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and those aged 65 and over are most at risk from flu and are being encouraged to get the vaccine, no matter how fit and healthy they feel.

Children aged 2 to 11 are also being offered a nasal spray vaccine to help stop the spread of flu. The programme was launched by Dr Nicola Steedman, the Scottish Government’s Senior Medical Officer, at Conan Doyle Medical Centre in Edinburgh on Monday.

Dr Steedman said: “Flu is much worse than the common cold – it’s an illness that can cause serious health complications for those at risk with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes or even pregnancy. ”

Helen Slicer (52), of South Queensferry, who received the flu vaccine, added: “I have rheumatoid arthritis and I’m on immunosuppressant drugs so, although I feel healthy, I know that catching flu could have a really serious impact on my health.

“I think it’s fantastic that my grandchild will also be protected from flu.

“I know that children are two to three times more likely to be ill with the virus so it’s good to be assured that those I love aren’t going to get sick.”