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Why we still need to protect ourselves from COVID-19

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EVEN though restrictions are being eased, COVID-19 has not gone away and we all have a reason to keep our communities safe reminds Hywel Dda University Health Board.

With COVID-19 cases rising across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, everyone is asked to remember what we can do to protect ourselves and each other.

As at 26 August, the rolling weekly rate per 100,000 saw an increase in all three counties, with Carmarthenshire increasing to 287, Ceredigion to 271 and Pembrokeshire 396. The overall rate for Hywel Dda increased this week to 319 per 100,000.

The number of tests carried out in Hywel Dda UHB area has also increased for the same period, with results showing an increase in positivity to 17% (11% the previous week).  

While the most significant increase is amongst the under 30s, there are still positive cases among the over 70s.

Even if vaccinated, following these simple steps can keep us safe, and remember that some rules are different in Wales.

– Work from home whenever we can

– Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms, even if mild

– Meet outside, it is safer than inside

– Limit our social contacts and keep a distance when possible

– Wear a mask, especially in crowded places

– Wash our hands regularly and thoroughly

We can do this to keep ourselves, our friends and family safe, and to protect our frontline services to serve our communities when you need us most.

Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “We are still very much in this pandemic which continues to disrupt our everyday lives. I’m proud of how much effort people have put into staying safe since it began. The rise in cases shows that, whilst hospital admissions are not as high as in previous waves, COVID-19 remains a risk to our health and our health service.

“I’m appealing to everyone to continue doing our bit by sticking with the ‘keep safe’ behaviours that have almost become second nature. Without your help, we will struggle to contain further spread of coronavirus here in west Wales.”

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, including cold and flu-like symptoms, must self-isolate and book a test via the UK portal (opens in new tab) or by calling 119 as soon as possible. By doing this, you can help to reduce the risk of further spread of the virus across our communities.

You must continue to self-isolate until you receive your test result, which will usually be within 24 hours of the test. If your result is negative, you can end your self-isolation, when you feel well enough to do so.

If your result is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days from the date your symptoms started. A contact tracer will be in touch with you and will only contact you from 02921 961133. If you miss the call, don’t worry, they’ll call you back.

Why it’s important to speak to a contact tracer? By sharing information on recent contacts, tracers can ask those who may have caught the virus to self-isolate to help stop further spread. It’s important that people answer the contract tracer’s call so they can help you, especially if you or your contacts need extra support. Information you share with them will be kept safe and treated confidentially, as with all health information.

Read more about symptoms, Test, Trace, Protect and vaccinations here

Together we can keep Hywel Dda safe.

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Parents warned to look out for respiratory illness in children

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RSV is a common respiratory illness which is usually picked up by children during the winter season

RESPIRATORY Syncytial Virus (RSV) is circulating amongst children and toddlers in the Hywel Dda area (Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire)  

Hywel Dda UHB Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive Dr Philip Kloer said: “Because of the COVID restrictions, there have been few cases of RSV during the pandemic, but this virus has returned and in higher numbers now people are mixing more.

“RSV is a common respiratory illness which is usually picked up by children during the winter season, and causes very few problems to the majority of children.  However, very young babies, particularly those born prematurely, and children with heart or lung conditions, can be seriously affected and it’s important that parents are aware of the actions to take.”

Parents are being encouraged to look out for symptoms of severe infection in at-risk children, including:

*a high temperature of 37.8°C or above (fever)

*a dry and persistent cough, difficulty feeding, rapid or noisy breathing (wheezing).

The best way to prevent RSV is to wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser regularly, dispose of used tissues correctly, and to keep surfaces clean and sanitised.

Most cases of bronchiolitis are not serious and clear up within 2 to 3 weeks, but you should contact your GP or call NHS 111 if:

  • You are worried about your child.
  • Your child has taken less than half their usual amount during the last two or three feeds, or they have had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more.
  • Your child has a persistent high temperature of 37.8C or above.
  • Your child seems very tired or irritable.

Dial 999 for an ambulance if:

  • your baby is having difficulty breathing
  • your baby’s tongue or lips are blue
  • there are long pauses in your baby’s breathing
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New Quay RNLI rescues person cut off by the tide

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New Quay RNLI returning to station with two members of the Coastguard team

NEW Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched on service on Saturday September 11 following a report of a person cut off by the tide at Traeth Gwyn, New Quay. 

With three crew members on board the inshore lifeboat Audrey LJ it launched on service at 11.15am and did an extensive search of the beach before finding the casualty who had been cut off by the high spring tide.  

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “There was an initial confusion on the location of the casualty but an update from the New Quay Coastguard Rescue team, who had fought their way down from the cliff top through thick undergrowth, allowed us to locate the person. 

“We then transferred the casualty and two of the coastguard team onto the boat. We dropped the casualty off at Llanina Point and brought the two coastguard officers back to the lifeboat station. The inshore lifeboat was then rehoused and ready for service by 12.25pm. 

“Remember if you see if you see anyone in difficulty or you find yourself in trouble on the coast call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.” 

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Ben Lake shows support for farmers on Back British Farming Day

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Ben Lake MP, said: “I’m proud to wear a pin badge today to show my support for Ceredigion’s fantastic farmers and growers.

BEN Lake MP has today shown support for British food and farming on Back British Farming Day, recognising the crucial role farmers in Ceredigion play in producing food for the nation.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) provided MPs with the emblem of the day – a wool and wheatsheaf pin badge – to enable them to join the celebration of agriculture. Food and farming is a key business sector, worth more than £120 billion to the UK economy and providing jobs for almost four million people.

The NFU chose the day to launch a new report which asks for Government to complete a comprehensive report on UK food security later this year, covering the country’s production of key foods and its contribution to global food security. This would be the first meaningful assessment of UK food security in over a decade.

Commenting, Ben Lake MP, said: “I’m proud to wear a pin badge today to show my support for Ceredigion’s fantastic farmers and growers. The day presents an opportunity to thank the farmers who feed us, as well as take care of our countryside and maintain our iconic Welsh landscapes.

“I fully support the campaign which is asking us all to value locally produced food. I will be calling on Government to adopt agricultural policies that ensure farming in Ceredigion can thrive and ensure our self-sufficiency does not fall below its current level of 60%, alongside a greater ambition in promoting Welsh food to aid UK food security.”

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