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Significant rise in Covid and flu results in hospital visit ‘think twice’ plea

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People living in Swansea Bay are being asked to think twice before visiting family and friends in hospital if they are feeling under the weather themselves.

The move follows a significant jump in cases – over 170 since the 22nd December – of flu, Covid, and several other viral respiratory infections, at Swansea Bay health board sites over the past week or so resulting in huge pressures on staff and services.

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Jennifer Davies, Deputy Director of Public Health in Swansea Bay, said: “Our infection control team are reporting continued increased rates of a range of respiratory infections including flu and Covid amongst others, along with diarrhoea and vomiting, affecting patients in our hospitals.

“If you are planning to visit friends or relatives in our hospitals and you are feeling unwell in any way, or are caring for anyone who is unwell, please stay at home and visit them when you are feeling better. 

“We know how important it is to visit a relative or close friend who is in hospital, particularly at this time of year but we ask that if you have any respiratory symptoms or feel under the weather, even if you’re not testing positive for Covid, to please postpone your visit until you feel better. This will help limit the spread and protect both our patients and staff.

“If you are coming, and you are well, please remember to wash your hands, use the hand gel and wear a mask.”

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Jennifer added that it wasn’t too late to get a Covid vaccination to help reduce its spread.

She said: “Vaccinations are an important form of protection from serious illnesses including flu and Covid infections. It’s not too late to get yours. Just visit the Covid booster and flu vaccinations page on our website.”

With Morriston Hospital’s emergency department particularly busy, the health board are asking people to only attend if absolutely necessary.

Swansea bay health board is also reminding people if they are unwell to go to the 111 Wales website first to check symptoms and get advice on next steps www.111.wales.nhs.uk, or go to your local pharmacy for advice and medicines for many common conditions and illnesses.

It also says that if you or a child over one have a minor injury such as a cut or minor burn, sprains or broken bones the health board’s Minor Injury Unit (MIU) is open between 7.30am and 11.00pm, seven days a week, at Neath Port Talbot Hospital, Baglan Way, Port Talbot, SA12 7BX.

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(Lead image: Swansea Bay NHS)

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