Seasonal flu

Flu can occur at any time but it is particularly prevalent in the winter months. This year, NHS Fife is delivering the flu vaccine to everyone who is eligible.  

To find out more about this year's flu vaccination arrangements, please visit our dedicated immunisation pages

Please note: there are also drop-in clinics for eligible people to receive their flu vaccination.


Strep A 

Since Covid restrictions eased, there are more opportunities for infections like Strep A to spread.

What is Strep A?

Group A Streptococcus is a form of bacteria sometimes found in a person's throat or on their skin. Many people carry it harmlessly without even knowing, but they can spread it to others. It often causes a mild illness like a sore throat or a skin infection.

While most people do not become acutely unwell,  in some people the bacteria that causes the infection can cause serious illness and complications. 

How can you get it? 

People can catch it through close contact and from coughs and sneezes.

What are the symptoms? 

Most often, symptoms are mild - a sore throat or a skin infection that can be easily treated with antibiotics. Strep A can also cause scarlet fever, which mostly affects young children and can be treated with antibiotics.

Useful links

The 0-18 NHS UK website has helpful information about Strep A and Scarlet fever with video content and checklists to help parent's make an informed initial diagnosis. 

For more information on Scarlet Fever visit NHS Inform: Scarlet Fever - Scarlet fever - Illnesses & conditions | NHS inform

For more information on Pneumococcal Infections caused by the Streptococcus bacteria visit NHS Inform: Pneumococcal infections | NHS inform

Watch this video about what group A strep is, and the signs to look out for if your child is unwell.

Watch this video presented by Dr Ranj Singh about Caring for a child with a fever | NHS

Watch this video presented by Dr Ranj Singh about Spotting Sepsis in under 5's | NHS

The 0-18 NHS UK website has a useful page to check across a range of ailments 


Cough

A cough is a reflex action to clear your airways of mucus and irritants. Find out how to care for a cough, and when to seek help visit NHS Inform for move advice.

Find out more about coughs in adults, when you can use self-care, and what to do if your cough worsens and you need medical help. Most coughs clear up within 3 weeks and don't require any treatment. A dry cough means it's tickly and doesn't produce any phlegm (thick mucus). A chesty cough means phlegm is produced to help clear your airways. Use this Self Help Guide to find out whether you should seek medical help for your cough.


Norovirus

Norovirus, also known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’ can be caught at any time of the year, although it is more common in the winter. It spreads easily and can affect anyone of any age, causing vomiting, diarrhoea, mild fever and headaches. Although unpleasant, Norovirus is not usually dangerous.

There’s no cure, you just have to let the bug run its course and avoid contact with other people until you feel better. This will usually take just a few days.

If you do become unwell with Norovirus:

  • Stay at home until you no longer have symptoms for 2-3 days
  • Drink plenty of liquid to prevent dehydration, water is best
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid preparing food for your family until you no longer have symptoms
  • Don't visit friends and relatives if you feel unwell - you can still be infectious up to 48 hours after your symptoms go

It's especially important to avoid visiting anyone in a hospital or a care home, as norovirus is more serious for people who are already ill.

Hospitals and care homes may temporarily suspend visiting in certain areas if norovirus is prevalent. This is to stop the virus spreading - especially to ill or elderly people.

To reduce your chances of catching Norovirus:

  • Keep your hands clean
  • Don't share towels, flannels and toothbrushes
  • Keep household surfaces clean
  • Avoid raw, unwashed fruit, rinse fruit and vegetables before eating them

Coronavirus

To prevent the spread of coronavirus, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you have symptoms of a respiratory infection such as coronavirus and you:

  • have a high temperature or
  • do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities

Try to do this until you no longer have a high temperature (if you had one) or until you feel better.

Symptoms of coronavirus include:

  • continuous cough
  • high temperature, fever or chills
  • loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell shortness of breath
  • unexplained tiredness, lack of energy, muscle aches or pains that are not due to exercise
  • not wanting to eat or not feeling hungry
  • headache that's unusual or longer lasting than usual
  • sore throat, stuffy or runny nose
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling sick or being sick

How to help your symptoms

  • drink fluids like water to keep yourself hydrated
  • get plenty of rest
  • wear loose, comfortable clothing – don’t try to make yourself too cold
  • take over-the-counter medications like paracetamol – always follow the manufacturer’s instructions

Visit https://www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus 


Long term conditions

COPD

For those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or other long term chronic conditions, it is particularly important to keep well so as not to make the symptoms more severe. 

Simple measures are important in winter for patients with chronic disease/COPD. For example, keeping warm during cold weather and where possible, avoiding family and friends if they are suffering from illness.   These measures can reduce the risk of exacerbation of the condition and help to avoid a spell in hospital. See the section on Winter fuel payments in our Emergency Contacts section.