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Protecting your health from infection

Infectious diseases


Go to Norfolk and Waveney ICB for information on the Norfolk COVID-19 vaccination programme. 

Influenza (flu)   

Flu is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. It can be very unpleasant and lasts about a week. Good hygiene measures will help prevent spreading of the virus.  

People with certain medical conditions have a higher risk of flu complications. They're offered an annual flu vaccine or antiviral medication to help reduce the risk of severe illness.  


Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug, is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be very unpleasant but usually goes away by itself in about two days.   

It is not always possible to avoid getting norovirus, but there are some steps you can take to help stop the virus spreading. These include:

  • Frequent and thorough hand washing
  • Disinfecting surfaces
  • Staying off work until at least 48 hours after the last symptoms have passed

Avian flu

Bird flu, or avian flu, is an infectious type of influenza that spreads among birds (domestic and wild) and some mammals. In rare cases, it can affect humans.

If you suspect bird flu in poultry or other captive birds, you must report it immediately to the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

Lyme Disease 

Ticks are small, spider-like creatures which feed on the blood of birds and mammals, including humans. They are mainly found in woodland, moorland, grassy areas, and gardens.  

Infected ticks can spread a bacterial infection to humans called Lyme Disease. A circular or oval shape rash around a tick bite can be an early symptom of Lyme disease in some people.  

Almost all people recover completely from Lyme disease. But a small number do not. 


Tuberculosis (TB) is a preventable and curable disease. But early diagnosis and treatment are essential to minimise its spread and prevent serious complications and death. 

TB mainly affects the lungs. But it can affect any part of the body, including the glands, bones, and nervous system. Bacteria spreads through inhalation of tiny droplets from the coughs or sneezes from an infected person. 

TB symptoms include: 

  • A persistent cough that lasts more than three weeks: this can be dry or brings up phlegm, which may be bloody
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • High temperature
  • Tiredness and fatigue 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swellings in the neck

If anyone has any of these symptoms, speak to a GP, call 111 or get help from 111 online. 

TB is a notifiable disease in the UK. This means clinicians have a statutory duty to notify the UKHSA Health Protection Team.  


Measles spreads very easily among unvaccinated people. 

Measles can be a very unpleasant illness. In some children it can be very serious and lead to hospitalisation - and in rare cases can cause death. People in certain risk groups are at increased risk of complications from measles. These groups include:

  • Babies and young children
  • Pregnant women
  • People with weakened immunity

Symptoms include a runny nose, cough, high fever, sore red watery eyes and a blotchy red-brown rash. 

Having two doses of the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine at the right time is the best way to protect your child. It also helps prevent it spreading, especially to those most vulnerable.  The first dose should be from 12 months and the second from 3 years 4 months.

Two doses of the MMR vaccine give you excellent lifelong protection. If you or your child have missed out on a vaccine, contact your GP surgery to book an appointment. It is never too late to catch up. 

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