Health bosses urge flu and norovirus patients to stay away from GP surgeries and hospitals

Health chiefs are urging people suffering with flu or norovirus symptoms to stay away from GP surgeries and hospitals to prevent the risk of the illness spreading.

Monday, 2nd December 2019, 10:10 am
Updated Monday, 2nd December 2019, 4:29 pm

The advice comes following a number of school closures across the region – with hundreds of members of staff and students suffering from sickness and norovirus.

Jarrow School was also closed for a time following an outbreak of vomiting, fever and sore throats.

People suffering flu or norovirus symptoms are being urged to avoid their surgery or hospital unless advised by a clinician or 111. 
PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.
People suffering flu or norovirus symptoms are being urged to avoid their surgery or hospital unless advised by a clinician or 111. PA Photo/thinkstockphotos.

During the outbreak, schools urged the parents of students who show sickness symptoms to keep their child off school until they have fully recovered.

Tony Brown, managing partner of Alnwick Medical Group in Northumberland, said: “It’s imperative that people with flu like or norovirus symptoms don’t go their surgery or hospital unless advised by a clinician or 111.

“We are aware of a number of cases of Flu and Norovirus affecting schools in the surrounding area.

“If you, or your child are suffering from symptoms of Norovirus - including sickness and diarrhoea - you are advised to avoid school and work for 48 hours.

“Norovirus can be very unpleasant, but it usually clears up by itself within a few days.

“Norovirus does, however, spread to others very easily and patients are therefore advised to look after themselves at home and to call NHS 111 (England) if you need advice.”

And the warning comes after health bosses have asked patients to only use emergency departments if they are immediate need of critical or life-saving care.

People are being warned they should be prepared for long waits if they attend with minor illnesses or ailments as staff focus on those with the most urgent needs.

Anyone who starts to feel unwell is urged to ask a pharmacist or visit nhs.uk for advice about treatment.