Seasonal Advice


Influenza or 'flu' is a respiratory illness associated with infection by influenza virus. Symptoms frequently include headache, fever, cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints.

  • Influenza occurs most often in winter and usually peaks between December and March.
  • The influenza virus is unstable and new strains and variants are constantly emerging, which is one of the reasons why the flu vaccine should be given each year. 
  • For most people influenza infection is very unpleasant , but for some it can lead to more serious illnesses. 
  • The most common complications of influenza are bronchitis and secondary bacterial pneumonia. These illnesses may require treatment in hospital and can be life threatening especially in the elderly, asthmatics and those in poor health.

Features of influenza include;  

  • Fever, dry cough and abrupt onset.
  • Headache, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, aching muscles and joints and extreme tiredness.
  • Adults can be infectious from a day before symptoms begin through to about 5 days after onset. Children can be infectious for up to 7 days; young children can shed virus for several days before becoming ill.

If you think you may have influenza, please do not visit the hospital. Please help us to keep our patients safe.

If you have an appointment, please contact the department for further advice.

Further advice about influenza can be obtained from Public Health England.


Common illnesses such as flu and stomach bugs, which cause sickness and diarrhoea, are particularly prevalent in the local community at this time of year. 

We encourage friends and family to visit their relatives whilst in hospital, to cheer their day and give some company. However, we also need to protect our patients. We know that the Norovirus is out in the community and is highly contagious. It is not a nice thing for anyone to suffer, but for those in hospital, who are already poorly and vulnerable, the virus can be even more unpleasant and harmful. 

Therefore, if you have been feeling unwell recently, experiencing any symptoms of diarrhoea, sickness or nausea and if you are recovering from a bout of sickness, please could you stay away until you have fully recovered, or for at least two days after your symptoms have gone. 

If you have been in contact with someone who has symptoms of Norovirus, whether in the family, at school or work – you could also be bringing this virus into the hospital, so please stay away until it is clear that you have not picked up this bug. Your help with keeping this unpleasant virus out of the hospital is greatly appreciated.

Further advice about norovirus can be obtained from the Public Health England website.

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