Protecting Health

Stay Well In Walsall

Stay Well Walsall campaign to help communities stay healthy all year round.

Walsall CCG has a website that is designed to help you find out about the range of local NHS services you can access if you are injured or unwell. You can also find tips and advice on how you and your family can stay well all year round.

By making the right choices at the right time, you will receive the best possible treatment in the most appropriate place. It also allows busy A&E departments to help the people who need them most.

For the latest on healthcare across Walsall follow us on Twitter @phwalsall or  Walsall CCG on @WalsallCCG or use the hashtag #staywellWalsall

Winter brings cold weather and often harsh conditions. This can sometimes make you feel unwell or make existing health problems worse.

Here are some tips for staying well this winter:
• Keep warm
• Keep your medicine cabinet well stocked
• Visit your local pharmacist as soon as you start to feel unwell. Find your nearest pharmacy here.
• Get your flu vaccine – find out more here
• Be a winter friend and look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours
• If you get ill or injured, make sure you know your options about where to go
• Beat the winter blues
• Stop viruses spreading

To prevent yourself from getting the flu or spreading it to others, it important that Walsall residents help prevent it spreading. The best advice is to:

• Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
• Catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue
• Put tissues in the bin as soon as possible
• Regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water

If you have sickness and diarrhoea don’t go to your GP surgery or hospital, as you may spread this to others. Drink plenty of fluids and call your GP surgery if you have concerns. You can find more advice here.

Norovirus (Vomiting bug)

Norovirus, also called the “winter vomiting bug”, is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be very unpleasant, but usually goes away in about 2 days.
The main symptoms of norovirus are;
– feeling sick (nausea)
– diarrhoea
– being sick (vomiting)
– You may also have:
– a high temperature of 38C or above
– a headache
– aching arms and legs

The symptoms start suddenly within 1 to 2 days of being infected.

How to treat norovirus yourself
You can usually treat yourself or your child at home.
You should start to feel better in a day or two.
Stay off school or work until the symptoms have stopped for 2 days. Also avoid visiting anyone in hospital during this time.
This is when you’re most infectious, Norovirus can spread very easily.

For more information please click here

Meningitis

For more information on meningitis Click Here

Health Protection

What is Health Protection?

Health Protection is a term used to encompass a set of activities within the Public Health function. It involves:

  • Ensuring the safety and quality of food, water, air and the general environment
  • Preventing the transmission of communicable diseases
  • Managing outbreaks and other incidents which threaten the health of the public
  • Cancer and non cancer screening programmes
  • Immunisations and vaccinations
  • Emergency planning

The profile of Health Protection has increased significantly in recent years with issues such as immunisation, food borne infections, pandemic flu, healthcare associated infection and communicable diseases regularly being in the public eye. The quality of public protection from hazards demands a workforce, educated and trained to the highest standards. Part of the health protection team’s role is to work alongside other professionals groups and organisations to ensure that they are knowledgeable and prepared to prevent infections spreading and to manage outbreaks and incidents when required.

Health Protection starts at home…….

Protecting health starts with you and it starts at home.  The following section explains how infections are spread, how to wash hands effectively, what immunisations are recommended and at what age, and why screening is so important.

In what ways are infections transmitted?

  • Airborne: breathing in an infection such as flu and colds
  • Foodborne:  Swallowing food that has germs on it that are able to cause infection such as salmonella or campylobacter
  • Bloodborne: someone else’s infected blood entering your body through cuts in the skin made by a sharp object such as Hepatitis C
  • Mother to baby: some infections can be passed during pregnancy or during the birth itself such as HIV
  • Direct contact: passing of germs from one person to another
  • Sexual contact: infections can be passed during unprotected sex such as Chlamydia

How are organisms passed?

In order for an infection to be passed successfully there needs to be certain conditions in place:

  • A viable organism – an organism that is fit and healthy and capable of causing an infection
  • Enough organisms to cause infection
  • A susceptible individual – a person who has little or no immunity to the infection
  • A suitable route of transmission – see above

If it is so easy for infections to be passed, why aren’t we always catching infections?

  • Body’s defence mechanisms: our bodies have strong defence mechanisms. However the very young or very old are more likely to suffer from certain infections because their defence mechanisms are not as good.  This is why we need to take extra care of our young children and elderly friends and family.
  • Immunity: The body develops immunity to many infections either following an infection or by being vaccinated against an infection.
  • Taking care: eating well and staying fit helps the body to fight off infections
  • To reduce the risk of transmission: some infections are easily passed to other people. If you have an infection you should stay away from work until you are feeling better.
  • Communication: Sometimes it is important to let close friends and family know if you are suffering from an infection so that they can be aware of symptoms and ask for medical help early  e.g. Norovirus

Meningitis

For more information please Click here

Norovirus

For more information on Norovirus Click here

Hand washing

How do I wash my hands properly?

1/ Make your hands wet under warm running water

2/ Use enough soap to develop a lather (too much soap is difficult to rinse off and will dry the skin on your hands)

3/ Rub hand together

4/ Rinse hands thoroughly under warm running water

5/ Dry hands properly

The picture below shows a hand that has been coated with an ultraviolet cream.  The person has washed their hands and then placed their hand under an ultraviolet light.  The white areas on the hand shows the usual places people miss when they are washing their hands – palm, thumb and finger nails.

hand2a

 

Hand washing is the most important thing we can do to prevent infections from spreading.

Page updated 18/07/2016

 


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