Cumbria's Director of Public Health gives Covid and flu advice for residents as cases on the rise

  • ITV Border speaks to Colin Cox about the increase in Covid and flu cases and what that means for the NHS

Cumbria's Director of Public Health is urging people to protect themselves as Covid and flu cases increase throughout the county.

Colin Cox believes that increased pressure currently on the NHS is due to a rise in Covid and flu.

With cases on the increase Colin Cox believes that the pressure the NHS is facing is only going to escalate over the next few months, he said: "It is clearly very very stretched.

"As everyone will know there is a lot of respiratory illness around at the moment and that is reflected in the position in hospitals.

"We are seeing more Covid and more flu. Flu is actually if anything creating more problems than Covid at the moment.

"It has to be said in North Cumbria in the last couple of days there has been a peak of Covid that has been the fourth highest we have seen in 18 months, there is a lot of it out there.

“We are certainly seeing significant pressures in our hospital services and they are struggling to cope as they are across the country."

An increase in cases from China recently has seen countries throughout Europe impose new travel restrictions.

Colin Cox has urged people not to be complacent Credit: ITV Border

Colin Cox believes that an increase in cases from China is reflected in the country's Covid policy, he said: "Any cases across the world where things are looking a little bit different we are keeping an eye on.

"We are seeing more cases in China largely because of the strategy they have been following around how to deal with Covid.

"There is a new variant emerging in the United States as well. Neither of these things I think are of particular concern.

"We may see other things happening. We may see further waves.

"The question is whether they are going to be any worse in terms of their effect, but at the moment there is no indication that is going to be the case."

Asked when if restrictions due to an increase in Covid and flu cases were likely Colin Cox does not envisage that to happen, he said: "From what we are seeing at the moment that is unlikely.

"We are not seeing anything that would suggest that the impact of increased waves is likely to be more significant on people’s health and wellbeing.

"Vaccination and prior infection are keeping a lot of people from serious illness."

With the spread of Covid and flu on the increase Colin Cox has this advice for those who are showing symptoms, he said: "The most important thing whether it is Covid or flu or any respiratory illness it’s if you have got one then try not to spread it.

"Stay at home if you can while you are feeling poorly.

"If you have to go out then it is a matter of courtesy to wear a face mask.

"Good respiratory hygiene and good hand hygiene are absolutely crucial in keeping lots of different types of infection down."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...