As usual, at this time of year, respiratory and gastrointestinal infections are circulating. Therefore, it is important that we prevent highly contagious viral illnesses such as flu, Covid, and norovirus from being passed onto vulnerable patients and the staff caring for them.

For most people coughs, colds and stomach bugs can make us feel unwell for a few days. Whereas for those who are in hospital or a care setting and are already vulnerable, these viruses can be much more serious. It is therefore important that we do all that we can to prevent such illnesses from being brought into these settings.  

NHS Shetland’s Public Health and Infection Control teams ask that those planning to visit relatives and friends in hospital or a care centre only do so if they are well themselves.

Please avoid visiting if you are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms, such as a sore throat, cough, runny nose, or fever.

Likewise, anyone who has experienced vomiting or diarrhoea should wait until at least 48 hours after their symptoms have passed before visiting anyone.

Delaying your visit until you feel better and are no longer infectious will help us protect your loved ones and prevent these illnesses from spreading.  

If you are well and visiting someone in hospital or a care centre then please follow the infection control advice provided in these places or ask staff if you are unsure. Washing your hands with either hand sanitiser or soap and water before and after visiting is one important infection control measure you are encouraged to take.  

If you or a family member are unwell with respiratory or gastrointestinal infections, please refer to the NHS Inform website, where you may find helpful information on managing these conditions and when to seek further help.

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Published: Friday, 29th December 2023