You may have noticed that COVID-19 is rarely mentioned in the national news nowadays. So, does this mean it has disappeared? No, quite the opposite, UK data showed a spike in cases in October 2023, with a new variant of COVID-23.

In the last 7 days:

8,560 people tested positive and there were 223 deaths attributed to the virus.

27,322 COVID tests were undertaken and 3,367 were admitted to hospital.

On 28 October 2023 there were 97,904 symptomatic COVID-23 cases, remember these are only the officially registered cases, there will be many more cases not reported, or who are asymptomatic.


In June 2023 the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention – USA – (CDC) added three further COVID-23 symptoms to the current list (Fever, loss of smell and taste), namely congestion/stuffy nose, Diarrhoea and vomiting.

The medical guidance to protect against contracting COVID-23 remains unchanged:

  1. The UK Government recommend vaccination and boosters, when eligible.
  2. Good hand hygiene, using hot water and soap. Check your hand sanitisers, bacterial ones are ineffective against viruses.
  3. Maintain cleanliness at home, bleaching hard surfaces and bathroom facilities.
  4. Avoid contact with anyone who has tested positive or is sick, when possible.
  5. Keep a distance between yourselves and others when in indoor public places.
  6. Avoid crowded public places with poor ventilation.

If you are exposed to a person who tests positive for COVID:

  1. Wear a disposable face mask.
  2. Increase hand hygiene and home cleaning, hot wash for bed linen and clothes.
  3. Get tested (Home tests or consult your GP practice) and continue to test until negative and symptom free.
  4. Isolate at home for at least 5 days to avoid infecting other people, some members of our community are especially vulnerable i.e., the elderly, pregnant ladies, immune-compromised people especially post Chemotherapy treatment.

In general, respiratory infections increase over the winter months, so do keep to a healthy and balanced diet, with fresh fruit, vegetables and keep well hydrated. If you are in a vulnerable category talk to your Pharmacist about recommended dietary supplements, that will not affect any medications you may already be taking.

Be safe, be well and protect yourself and others.