NHS Choices weekly website report – week 11

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Do you suffer from hayfever earlier each year?

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This week’s NHS Choices website weekly report covers the period from March 13-19 2017, which saw 11.8 million visits to the site. This was a 0.11% decrease on the previous week, and a 2.31% decrease compared with the same period last year. Unique visitors totalled 8.49 million.

NHS Choices visits 2016 vs 2017

Top 10 site area visits (% of total visits)


Hayfever: Hayfever season has already started this year – and experts claim the season is beginning earlier every year. The Express reported tree pollen is the current culprit, particularly hazel and alder trees, and pollen is a trigger for most of the 1 in 11 people in the UK who have asthma. The news saw visit to the ‘Hay fever treatment’ page go up by 76% to total 3,611, while visits to the ‘Hay fever symptoms’ page rose by 67% to reach 3,736.

Lupus: Lupus sufferer Selena Gomez donated to the University of Southern California to help research the disease, the Metro reported. The project will be known as the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research, and will initially fund a pilot treatment programme focused on treating complications of the condition. This story drove visits to the ‘Lupus introduction’ page up by 27% to total 26,204.

Scarlet fever: The Sun ran a serioes of stories on the rise of “Victorian” illnesses, focusing on scarlet fever. The article highlighted what to look out for and how the condition is spread. The story linked directly to the ‘Scarlet fever symptoms’ page, which increased visits by 26% to 28,506.

Top 10 search engine referral phrases: ‘Scarlet fever’ and ‘chicken pox’ entered the top 10 this week after ranking 27th and 12th respectively last week.

Premenstrual Syndrome: The Independent’s story on Malin Olofsson, a 27-year-old fitness blogger who documents premenstrual changes to her body on Instagram, saw visits to the ‘Premenstrual syndrome introduction’ page increase by 26% to 3,396.

Rickets: As part of their series on Victorian illnesses, The Sun also focused on rickets. It’s thought vitamin D and calcium deficiency resulting from a poor diet and financial inequality could be seeing a rise in cases. The story saw visits to the ‘Rickets introduction’ page go up by 21% to 2,876.

Cleft palate: The Daily Mail ran a story on a girl who was able to smile for the first time after having cleft palate surgery. The seven-month-old toddler’s cleft palate was so pronounced that it was visible during her 20-week ultrasound scan. After surgery, she was able to smile and pronounce “m” correctly. Visits to the ‘Cleft lip and palate introduction’ page increased by 20% to total 1,776.

Top 10 videos: Video views, including those on the NHS Choices YouTube channel, were 174,427, a 0.42% increase compared with the previous week. The ‘Pilates’ video was top, with 5,260 views.

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