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St Mary's Health centre update on ‘flu epidemic


St Mary's Health centre has issued advice on how to manage and contain ‘flu in light of a surge in reported cases on the mainland.

Fran Clark, Lead Practice Nurse, said: "With a potential epidemic on our doorstep and multiple reports of ‘flu in west Cornwall, it’s sensible to get prepared and know what to do if you need help.”

The Health Centre was today informed that NHS England has made an unprecedented move to allow non-eligible patients the opportunity to have a ‘flu vaccination as the virus has the potential to spread throughout the islands.

Therefore all patients registered on Scilly who wish to have a 'flu vaccine are asked to call the Health centre as soon as possible to attend a clinic on Friday January 12th.

'Flu is much more serious than a common cold but symptoms are similar and usually include

•. blocked or runny nose

•. sore throat

•. headaches

•. cough

•. sneezing

• pressure in ears and face

•. loss of taste and smell

•. high temperature

•. muscle aches and pains

•. feeling exhausted and very unwell

Patients with 'flu usually need to stay in bed as they feel too poorly to do anything else, unlike a common cold. It can last up to two weeks and can be managed with simple medication such as regular paracetamol or over-the-counter 'flu remedies. Honey and lemon, plenty of fluids and keeping warm may help sufferers feel more comfortable.

Most importantly, if you or your children are ill, please stay at home and avoid other people until fully recovered. Any patients requiring medical intervention are asked to call the Health centre on 422628 or Pharmacy on 422021 for advice or to arrange a home visit. Contact your GP if:

• your symptoms don't improve after seven days

• you're worried about your own or your child's symptoms

• you're pregnant

you have a weakened immune system – for example, because of chemotherapy

Please do not attend the Health Centre or Hospital if you think you have ‘flu unless you have a life-threatening emergency.

Doctor John Garman, lead GP for the Isles of Scilly, said: “We have excellent immunisation rates for ‘flu but two thirds of the general population are unvaccinated and therefore at risk of developing and passing on ‘flu. The Medical Services have robust procedures in place for managing an epidemic but need your help in minimise the risk and the effects."

Fran advised: "Washing hands regularly or using hand sanitiser, sneezing into tissues and avoiding public places are the best way to avoid catching 'flu, which can develop one to four days after exposure. Children are known as 'super-spreaders' but we are fortunate that over 95% of children eligible for the vaccination programme have been immunised - which helps protect the community.”

Any remaining patients wishing to have the ‘flu vaccine, please contact the Health centre by the 6pm on Thursday January 11th 2018 as stocks are now extremely limited.

For further information please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/

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