Winter Respiratory Illnesses

catch it, bin it, kill it

Help stop spreading the influenza virus by following these simple instructions and practicing good hand hygiene.

One of the most effective ways of protecting everyone is by:

CATCHING IT - Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue.

BINNING IT - Throw away the used tissues as soon as possible.

KILLING IT - Wash your hands with soap and water immediately. If there are no washing facilities available use alcohol hand gel/rub instead.


Flu myth busting

Another way to stop influenza from spreading is by having the flu vaccination. All SWASFT staff are offered and encouraged to have the flu vaccine every year. This is not only to protect themselves from influenza, but also to protect the patients, colleagues, friends and family. 

Frontline healthcare workers are more likely to be exposed to the influenza virus, particularly during the winter months when some of their patients will be infected. There is no such thing as natural immunity to flu - anyone can get it.

There are many strains of influenza and new strains circulate each year. Infection control and lifestyle are not enough to prevent you from catching the flu and transmitting it to others and vulnerable people. One of the best forms of defence against influenza is the vaccination, along with good infection prevention and control procedures. The vaccination will not only protect you, but others around you.

The flu virus can live on surfaces, equipment, hands, and in the air for hours, meaning they can be easily transmitted. Just a few simple steps can help prevent the virus from spreading.

GPs, A&Es and Ambulance Services unfortunately cannot prescribe anything for influenza. If you come down with flu symptoms use over the counter medicines, keep hydrated and get plenty of rest.


Coronavirus and COVID-19

Help stop the spread of Coronavirus.

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses which cause a range of illnesses, including common colds and COVID-19.

There are no longer any COVID-19 restrictions in the UK, except in certain healthcare settings, and most people do not have access to free test kits. You can buy test kits in shops, but you can no longer report the results to the NHS.

If you think you have COVID-19 you should try to stay at home, and follow the “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it” advice shown in the Flu section above. You can also get vaccinated against COVID-19 through the NHS. Click here for the most recent advice on the website.