Harlow hospital message: Don't give infection a helping hand
With winter fast approaching, clinicians at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT) are keen to help patients and the public avoid seasonal illnesses. They will be promoting infection prevention and control in line with the international campaign between 14 and 18 October. Important topics such as hand hygiene are being highlighted as well as raising awareness of specific diseases such as measles.
The team behind the initiative are reminding staff, patients and visitors about reducing the spread of influenza - or flu - and norovirus.
Flu can be quite contagious and potentially serious, so diagnosing the virus early on admission is very important to enable treatment to begin promptly and to ensure correct precautions are taken. This could include giving the patient their own room to protect other patients.
As members of the public, you can get a flu vaccine if you are over 65 or pregnant or if you have a condition that puts you more at risk. If you want more advice, contact your pharmacy or GP practice for more advice.
Norovirus, another virus often seen during winter, can spread very easily in an environment such as a hospital and the advice is that if members of the public have sudden onset diarrhoea and/or vomiting they should try and avoid coming to the hospital and drink plenty of fluids. If this is not possible, please speak to the GP first and, if sent to hospital, notify staff immediately on presenting to the emergency department (ED).
You can help protect yourself from these viruses with good hand hygiene before eating and after using the toilet. If you visit the hospital, please use hand sanitisers around the trust and avoid coming at all if you are unwell.
The hospital's infection prevention and control team will be hosting a stand to offer information and advice to patients and visitors next week. You can find them outside the Alexandra restaurant on Tuesday, 8 October, between 11.30am and 2pm, and outside the pharmacy on the ground floor, on Friday, 11 October, from 11.30m to 2pm.