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GPs and patients with flu symptoms should ‘stay at home and self-isolate’

flu symptoms

GPs and their patients who have flu symptoms should ‘stay at home and self-isolate’ this winter, Public Health England (PHE) has said.

The message was delivered at a press briefing about this year’s flu campaign yesterday, although a spokesperson later played it down saying this has always been the advice.

Speaking at the briefing yesterday, PHE medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle said it was ‘an important message’ that those with either Covid or influenza symptoms self-isolate to protect themselves and others.

She said: ‘The last thing you really want to have is flu. 

‘If you do think you have either flu or Covid, stay at home and self-isolate. That’s to protect yourself – you’ll be feeling very miserable – but also to protect others.’

A slide accompanying the virtual briefing added: ‘Flu, Covid-19 and other respiratory viruses will be co-circulating during winter.

‘If you think you have either flu or Covid-19, stay home and self-isolate.’

A PHE spokesperson said that the current advice is that those who think they have flu should stay at home and rest until they feel better, minimising contact with others to prevent the spread of the flu virus.

It comes as GPs are gearing up to vaccinate 30m people as part of this year’s expanded flu programme – while the Government has revealed that Covid cases are doubling every week.

Dr Doyle also reiterated that people should only book Covid-19 tests if they have any of the recognised symptoms – a high fever, a new continuous cough or a change of taste and smell.

She said: ‘You really only need to book a Covid test if you have those symptoms. They’re pretty accurate about Covid, so if that’s the case, do book a test. 

‘You don’t need to book tests for the sake of curiosity or a huge range of other symptoms.’

Earlier this month, Pulse revealed that GPs are having to isolate from work because they cannot get tests for themselves or their children who display Covid-19 symptoms.

But this afternoon, health secretary Matt Hancock set out a new prioritisation for Covid testing which placed GPs third in line, after acute and care staff but before the public.

Meanwhile, some GP practices in England have experienced a delay in the delivery of flu vaccines because of an ‘unexpected issue with a delivery partner’.

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Vinci Ho 22 September, 2020 8:04 am

She said: ‘You really only need to book a Covid test if you have those symptoms. They’re pretty accurate about Covid, so if that’s the case, do book a test. ……

Is that really the way forward or this purely represents pragmatism? 🤔🤨Like to hear views from you guys .😎

GPs and patients with flu symptoms should ‘stay at home and self-isolate’ – Pulse – is for sale 22 September, 2020 8:51 am

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Iain Chalmers 22 September, 2020 10:22 am

Excellent advice unlikely to be followed by British public I fear.

2 kids recent flu like illness, Mum then got same, unable to get Covid test, visited pharmacy F2F who confidently diagnosed chest infection and sent to GP as “urgent”

Oddly clinical examination didn’t support the above!

IMHO full lockdown almost inevitable

ENG Ong 22 September, 2020 10:57 am

Excellent advice. Shame Public Health England is scrapped after their staff were being decimated.

David Church 22 September, 2020 11:51 am

‘Mum, unable to get Covid test, so visited pharmacy F2F’ ?!
So, thinking she had Covid, but unabl eto get tested, her first thought was to completely dis the advice to self-isolate?
What is wrong with the public??
We wxpwct this of Government ministers, but not the average capable parent!!

Dave Kew 22 September, 2020 1:38 pm

Is it a good test? My neighbours were told to drive to Llandudno, which they didnt think they were allowed to make the 6 hour round trip or go to Wales. They didnt feel well enough either. Each GP will need about 8 weeks off for their average 4 colds then.
Don’t think I want another test as
1) It hurts, and is invasive
2) It’s only 70% accurate
3) In a community fit patient it doesnt alter the treatment. In fact it is making it worse, as they go back to work if it was maybe negative.
$) It is hugely expensive, and poor use of resources. Use the money to pay for people to self isolate instead.

Andi Williams 23 September, 2020 2:38 pm

have you got your toilet roll stockpiled yet – the supermarkets are packed with panic buyers already. followed by their covid outbreak 2 weeks later from the total lack of social distancing across the supermarket aisles – don’t you just love the British public. self fulfilling prophecy as we type.