HELP keep the bugs at bay this winter by washing your hands and sneezing into a tissue, say Worcester doctors.
The call comes in a bid to stop the spread of colds and flu and the sickness and diarrhoea brought on by the winter bug norovirus.
GPs say good hand hygiene is particularly important when visiting friends or relatives in hospital, the elderly or when around very young children.
They say use soap and warm water, pay attention to fingers, thumbs, under nails and wrists and dry your hands properly.
Dr Carl Ellson from the local clinical commissioning group said: “Germs can live on some surfaces for hours, meaning they can be easily transferred to others.
“It’s important that we do all we can to try and protect vulnerable patients in our hospitals, particularly those who may have impaired immunity, as well as those in the community so they don’t end up being admitted.”
Good hygiene includes:
Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue – when you cough or sneeze, ensure you put the tissue in the bin straight away – don’t save it to re-use later.
If you don’t have a tissue cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow rather than your hands.
Wash hands with soap and warm water – This will remove the majority of germs. Studies show that hand-washing techniques are often poor and the most commonly neglected areas are the tips of the fingers, palm of the hand, and the thumb.
Use alcohol hand rub if you are visiting someone in hospital.
This should be rubbed into all areas of the hands, again paying attention to the thumbs, fingertips, between the fingers and the backs of the hands until the hands feel dry.
However this won’t help with norovirus where soap and water is best.
For more information about winter illness, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell