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Health / Health board issues flu and Covid reminder as cases rise

AS CASES of flu, Covid and other respiratory infections rise in Shetland people are being asked to avoid unnecessary contact with the most vulnerable members of the community if they feel unwell.

The message is being put out by NHS Shetland on the eve of the isles’ fire festival season beginning tomorrow (Friday) in Scalloway after two years of postponements.

People with respiratory symptoms should also consider staying indoors until they feel better in order to prevent the spread of infection.

Public health and planning principal Elizabeth Robinson said: “If you are planning to attend any social gatherings such as the upcoming Up Helly Aa festivals, please consider not attending if you are experiencing any symptoms that you could pass on to others.

“However, if you still want to go, consider only attending the outdoor procession as this would be one way to enjoy the festivals but reduce risk to others.

“Please take particular care of older or more vulnerable people around you and avoid spreading an infection to them.” 

The health board said vaccination still remains the best option people can take to prevent folk becoming unwell with flu or Covid.

Robinson added: “In Shetland, we have seen a small number of laboratory confirmed cases of flu so far, but this will be an underestimate of the true numbers as only a small proportion of people are tested.

“We are fully expecting numbers to rise, as we usually see our peak slightly later than mainland Scotland, usually later in January and into February and March.”

Although the regular vaccination clinics and walk-ins have stopped, those who are eligible can still arrange to have their vaccine/s. 

Eligibility criteria for the flu vaccine can be found here.

People can contact the vaccination team on 01595 743319 (leave a message) or by email at shet.vaccination-team@nhs.scot to make an appointment or should you have any questions or queries.

If someone is eligible for a Covid vaccination, the vaccine can be administered at the same time.

Other precautions such as good handwashing and ventilating rooms are still being recommended.

There is more information on keeping well in winter on the NHS Inform website. 

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