College comments on fall in gastro-intestinal infection during pandemic

Responding to research published in BMJ Open Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said the following.

“This study makes clear that as we've seen with other contagious diseases, such as colds and flu, prevalence of gastro-intestinal infection was lower during the pandemic. This is likely to be in a large part due to restrictions that were implemented to stop the spread of Covid and greater adherence to public health measures.

“As we move to the next stages of the pandemic, severe restrictions have been and continue to be lifted to allow a more normal way of life, but practising good hygiene measures is something that can and should continue, and really can help people keep well. We’d always encourage people to maintain good hygiene practices, such as regular and thorough handwashing – or if that’s not possible, using hand sanitiser - particularly after using the toilet, coughing or sneezing into your elbow instead of your hand and disposing of tissues after you use them.”

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Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.