The flu virus is already circulating and has led to people being hospitalised.
Swansea Bay University Health Board’s Director of Public Health, Dr Keith Reid, said the cases, although small in number, should be a timely reminder that everyone eligible for a free flu vaccination should take up the offer.
The small number of flu cases reported in Swansea Bay hospitals in just over a month have been of both the A and B strains.
“Flu was non-existent in autumn and winter 2020 as lockdowns, mask wearing and increased hand hygiene stopped it and other winter bugs from spreading from person to person,” he said.
“But we have been expecting to see flu come back this year and potentially at levels up to twice as high as a normal flu season.”
Flu can be fatal and research has shown that those infected with both flu and Covid are more than twice as likely to die as someone with Covid alone.
We have also seen cases of the winter vomiting bug (norovirus) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes cold-like symptoms but can be serious, in our hospitals
👇 See below for simple steps we can all take to reduce the spread of illnesses:
🤧 Always sneeze or cough into a tissue, bin it and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
🧼 Wash your hands often with soap and water, particularly after blowing your nose and before eating. Remember: alcohol gel/hand sanitiser is not effective against norovirus, but will kill flu and Covid.
✋ Take hand sanitiser with you when you go out and take advantage of the hand and trolley sanitising stations set up in shops.
😷 Remember it is still the law in Wales that everyone aged 11 and over must wear a face covering in all indoor public places and on public transport. This includes hospitals.
🏠 Stay home if you have symptoms consistent with Covid and arrange a test.
🤮 If you have diarrhoea and/or vomiting, stay home until at least 48 hours after your last symptoms.
🏥 Please don’t visit anyone in hospital if you or a person you are caring for has diarrhoea and vomiting