Young people reminded of how to protect themselves against common winter bugs

Young people across Oxfordshire are being made aware of how to protect themselves from the major winter bugs, as well as COVID, in a new Oxfordshire County Council campaign.

The campaign looks to raise awareness of the four major illnesses that are likely to affect school-age children this winter: the flu, norovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19.

These viruses can spread very easily, particularly in busy environments such as schools.

Councillor Mark Lygo, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “I was delighted to be able to join some of the pupils at Heyford Park School to talk about this campaign and raise awareness of how we can all protect ourselves in the winter months.

“There is a much higher risk of catching a winter virus this year as people have more exposure to common viral infections. Last year, we didn’t see the kind of levels we would normally, which has meant this year we’re all a little more at risk when it comes to catching them – particularly school children. It’s likely that all these winter illnesses will be in circulation at the same time too.

“For the majority of children, although unpleasant, these illnesses will not be too serious, and they will soon recover after a bit of rest, but it’s important we do all we can to minimise the chance of them spreading to protect those individuals who may be at a higher risk of complications.

“We hope that this new campaign will help young people of all ages know what they can do to help keep these bugs at bay. Those aged 12 and over will now be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19, which is even more important with the new variant, while all school-aged children can get a flu vaccination.”

The campaign is being run with Oxfordshire County Council-run schools and early years services, with younger children being offered stickers and bookmarks and posters being displayed throughout schools.

There are simple steps that young people can take to protect themselves against the four viruses this winter:

  • Stay at home if you’re feeling poorly.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay away from people are ill.
  • Wash AND dry your hands regularly.
  • Throw away tissues straight away – don’t leave them lying around.

People can find out more about winter viruses and how to stay well by visiting the NHS website,

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