Advice offered as region sees increase in respiratory illness

Dumfries and Galloway has seen an increase in people being unwell with respiratory illness along with coughs and temperatures and an increase in hospital admissions amongst those most vulnerable.


Nurse Consultant in Health Protection Fiona McKinnon said: “We do see increases in respiratory infections at points throughout the year.  This year, there has also been an increase in people with whooping cough across the UK and we would like to provide some advice on reducing the spread of respiratory infections.
“Some of the symptoms that we are seeing are similar to a cold-like illness; sneezing, sore throats along with headaches and all-over body aches.

“If you’re experiencing a respiratory illness, there are some simple things you can do to help reduce the spread to other people. I’d encourage everyone to follow these actions and to think of others, including those who might be a bit more vulnerable.”

If you have symptoms of any respiratory infection, please avoid contact with other people if you’re unwell. When you no longer have a fever (if you had one) and don’t need medicine to control your fever, you can return to normal activities.


For some people, respiratory illness can be more serious and can lead to the need for treatment. We would ask that you do not visit people in hospitals or care homes if you have respiratory symptoms.


Germs spread easily, so to help protect others always carry a tissue and use it to capture coughs and sneezes. Germs can live on tissues for several hours, so try to dispose of them as soon as possible and wash your hands after disposing of them.

Good hand washing can offer good protection against many of the common viruses which cause a range of respiratory and other infections. Keep your hands clean and help children to practice good hand washing. It is important to remember that alcohol gel does not always kill all bugs.


Pharmacies are a great source of advice, and there are a number of over-the-counter remedies for common illnesses which people might want to ensure are on hand within their homes.


Fiona said: “A wide range of helpful information can be found on the website www.nhsinform.scot, and help is also on hand via the NHS 24 111 helpline.”