Urgent advice has been issued as NHS services face immense pressure and a rise of winter illnesses.
Cases of cold and flu, covid and Scarlet Fever have been on the rise in recent weeks as demand on the NHS worsens. Scarlet fever is caused by group A streptococcus which also causes other serious illnesses.
The ECHO previously reported on the terrifying reality of the crisis in our NHS as people are being warned not to go to A&E unless their condition is life threatening. Scenes of chaos and patients lying in trolleys for days in a corridor have seemingly become the norm.
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Many people have also reported having a "lurgy" that feels like covid but isn't, causing them to be extremely unwell. But as families return to work and children go back to school, urgent health advice has been issued. People are once again being encouraged to stay at home if they are unwell and to wear a face covering.
Professor Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: "It’s important to minimise the spread of infection in schools and other education and childcare settings as much as possible. If your child is unwell and has a fever, they should stay home from school or nursery until they feel better and the fever has resolved.
"Helping children to learn about the importance of good hand hygiene is also key, so practice regular handwashing at home with soap and warm water. Catching coughs and sneezes in tissues then binning them is another simple way to help stop illness from spreading.
"Adults should also try to stay home when unwell and if you do have to go out, wear a face covering. When unwell don’t visit healthcare settings or visit vulnerable people unless urgent."
People are also being urged to ensure they are up to date with eligible vaccines. More advice on how to stay safe in the winter can be found via the NHS here.
The NHS advices that if you're 65 or over, or in one of the other at-risk groups, it's important to get medical help as soon as you feel unwell. Risk groups include people aged 65 and older, babies and children under the age of 5 and people who have a long-term health condition.
With many illnesses around this winter, we put together a list of the common symptoms for covid, Strep A and the flu so you know what you are dealing with.
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