Posted: Fri 6th Jan 2023

Keep defences up against flu and COVID this winter, says Wales Chief Medical Officer

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jan 6th, 2023


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If you have symptoms and have to go out, wear a face covering”, that is the message from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​

Data released today shows prevalence of flu, COVID-19 and other seasonal respiratory viruses has increased over the Christmas period and remains at very high levels. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​

Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures released today show that rates of COVID-19 have increased from 1.89% to 5.7% in Wales. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​

Dr Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer for Wales said: “It’s important to remember that COVID-19 has not gone away and there are very high levels of flu and other respiratory viruses circulating in our communities, which is placing a significant burden on our health and care system. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​

“We are not fully immune to either virus and we must keep our defences up to continue to keep Wales safe and reduce pressure on the NHS. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​

“I encourage anyone with cold, flu or COVID symptoms to please try to stay at home and not visit health and care settings and keep washing your hands regularly. If you have symptoms and have to go out, wear a face covering. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​

“If you’re eligible for a COVID booster or flu vaccine and have not had your jab, please take up the offer, to protect yourself, your loved ones and our communities. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​

“Similarly, if you have children eligible for a flu nasal spray, it’s really important they receive it to protect themselves and limit the spread of the virus. Check your health board’s website for more information. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​

“The response from the public in dealing with COVID has been outstanding in Wales and we want to thank everyone for working with us to keep Wales safe and protect our health service.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​

Earlier today Wrexham.com reported that Public Health Wales is asking parents and guardians to keep their children away from school if they are unwell or have a fever. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​

Public health experts say that keeping your child away from school if they are unwell is “one of a number of simple steps” to prevent the spread of infections in schools and nurseries in Wales next week. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​

Children who are unwell with a fever (a high temperature) should stay at home until they feel better and the fever is over. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​

The advice is similar to that issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) earlier this week, with people also being encouraged to use good hand hygiene and to avoid visiting healthcare settings if they have a flu or suspected coronavirus. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌‌‌​​‍‌​​‌​​​​‍‌​​‌​​‌​

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