As Summer approaches, we look forward to travelling, taking holidays, attending events and enjoying more time outdoors. There are some simple things we can all do to stay safe throughout summer and to keep illness at bay as we enjoy the longer days and better weather.
COVID-19 has not gone away, we are all learning to live with it. Thankfully the vaccine continues to be highly effective in preventing severe illness and antiviral treatments are now available for those who need them. However in recent weeks we have seen a small, but steady increase in cases. We can all follow simple steps to help protect ourselves, family and friends.
The best thing we can all do is make sure we are up to date with our vaccinations. These remain our best form of defence against the virus. It’s not too late to catch up if you’ve missed boosters or even first doses.
If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially those who are elderly or vulnerable.
If you are meeting others indoors you should let lots of fresh air in. Open some windows to help with ventilation and in the sunny weather you could also plan to meet outside.
We should all continue to practice good hand hygiene, frequently washing our hands for 20 seconds with hot water and soap. It might also be a good idea to wear a face covering in a crowded space such as public transport.
We should all continue to follow the most up-to date guidance which can be found here.
The weather can affect our health, particularly in those who are more vulnerable or have long-term health conditions. If hot weather hits this summer, you can help protect yourself and others by:
If you're planning to travel outside the UK, check health information for your destination before you go. You may need vaccines to protect you from serious diseases found in some parts of the world and may also need medication, for example to protect you against malaria.
Check the advice for your destination on TravelHealthPro and speak to your practice nurse, GP, pharmacist or a travel clinic ideally 4-6 weeks before travel to get appropriate advice for your trip. They can give you information about vaccinations and any extra precautions or medication you might need to take.
Be sure to check the COVID-19 rules and entry requirements for the country you are travelling to.
Read more about travel illnesses, vaccinations and travel health advice.
Checking you’re up to date on your routine vaccinations including MMR and MenACWY is important and helps to keep illnesses from spreading. If you are not sure which vaccines you’ve had, contact your GP surgery and if you are a parent or carer, you can look in your child’s red book (their health record). For some vaccines it’s never too late to catch up. The list of routine NHS vaccines can be seen on the NHS website here.
It’s also not too late to have the COVID vaccine. It doesn’t matter which dose you are due. Visit the NHS website to find your nearest vaccination centre or phone 119
For more advice on staying safe during the summer, visit the NHS website.
The outbreak of Monkeypox, largely affecting men who are gay or bisexual, is growing in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. The infection can spread through close physical contact like skin-to-skin contact, kissing, sex or sharing things like bedding and towels.
Some examples of the symptoms of Monkeypox includes recent unusual spots, ulcers or blisters on your body, fever, headaches, muscle aches, chills and exhaustion as well as swollen glands.
Anyone can get Monkeypox, particularly if you have had close contact, including sexual contact, with an individual with symptoms. During a time when more people are mixing and spending time together, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms, particularly if you have recently had a new sexual partner.
Contact a sexual health clinic if you have a rash with blisters and you’ve been either:
Avoid close contact with others until you have received medical advice.
There are some simple precautions you can take to reduce your risk of being bitten or stung by insects. It's particularly important to follow this advice if you've had a bad reaction to an insect bite or sting in the past or you're travelling to an area where there's a risk of picking up a serious illness.
The following measures can help you avoid insect bites and stings:
Ticks are small spider-like creatures that are mainly found in woodland, heathland and areas with long grass, including in urban parks. They attach to your skin, and bite to suck blood. Bacteria in the ticks can lead to Lyme disease in some cases. Our blog has more detail.
You can reduce your risk of being bitten by a tick if you:
Watch our video on Lyme disease for more information:
Summer is a great time to enjoy a BBQ with family and friends. Ensuring meat is not left outside of the fridge for long periods and is cooked thoroughly can help prevent food poisoning. Handwashing before preparing food and after handing raw meat can help prevent bacteria spreading too.
Learn more about BBQ food safety here.
By: Blog EditorTitle: Staying Safe During SummerSourced From: ukhsa.blog.gov.uk/?p=28093Published Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2022 09:22:59 +0000