NHS Choices weekly website report – week 19

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What are the dangers of eating raw and undercooked fish dishes?

Sushi Nigiri with fresh salmon and Maki roll

This week’s NHS Choices website weekly report covers the period from May 8-14 2017, which saw 10.98 million visits to the site. This was a 3.72% increase on the previous week, and a 3.52% decrease compared with the same period last year. Unique visitors totalled 7.96 million.

NHS Choices visits 2016 vs 2017

Top 10 site area visits (% of total visits)

Visits to the NHS Choices homepage saw the biggest increase this week, going up by 0.39%. This week’s biggest faller was Treatments and Conditions, which saw a 1.10% decrease in visits compared with last week.

Within Treatments and Conditions, there are a number of guides providing in-depth information on topics such as ‘pregnancy and baby’; ‘contraception’; ‘vaccinations’; ‘stress, anxiety and depression’; and a guide for ‘care and support’. Guides accounted for 9.98% of all site visits in week 19.

NHS cyber attack: Visits to the ‘NHS cyber attack’ page totalled 85,526 after it was announced that the WannaCry ransomware cyber attack had impacted a number of NHS organisations. Visits were highest on May 13, when they accounted for 56% of the weekly total. The peak hour for visits on Saturday was 8-8.59am. On May 14 seven hospitals were on divert following the attack. This has since fallen to two.

Hair loss: Channel 4’s ‘First Dates’ caused an uplift in visits to hair loss pages after the episode shown on May 9 featured Eve, who removed her wig during her date, explaining she has alopecia. The moment was then reported by a number of national newspapers and the episode received attention on social media. Visits to the ‘Hair loss introduction’ page rose by 60% to 10,510, while the ‘treatment’ page saw a 7% increase in traffic. There was also interest in the ‘Evidence behind reports of new baldness cure is a little thin’ Behind the Headlines article, which saw 23,751 visits.

Brain aneurysm: News coverage about Mandy Farrell, who collapsed with a brain aneurysm while on holiday in Benidorm, led to an increase in visits to related pages. Mandy died two weeks after falling ill with the condition. Visits to the ‘Brain aneurysm introduction’ page went up by 30% to total 5,132, while visits to the ‘symptoms‘ page rose by 32% to 2,400.

Top 10 search engine referral phrases: ‘EHIC card’ moved up in the top 10 this week after ranking 14th last week.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): A Behind the Headlines article that examined a Daily Mail story about the increased risk of heart attack from NSAIDs saw close to 4,000 visits. There was a related 13% increase in visits to the ‘NSAIDs’ page, while visits to the ‘Ibuprofen’ page saw visits rise by 10% to 10,394. Another Behind the Headlines article published last year – ‘Ibuprofen-like painkillers linked to an increased risk of heart failure’ – saw a 557% increase in traffic.


Wild salmon parasite: A number of news stories about the dangers of eating raw and undercooked fish dishes like sushi caused a rise in visits to the ‘Wild salmon parasite warning’ page. The reports focused on the increasing number of people suffering from parasitic infections known as anisakiasis. Visit to the ‘Wild salmon parasite warning’ page rose by 1.05K% to total 3,793.

HIV and AIDS: There was an increase in visits to the ‘HIV and AIDS’ page after it was reported by the BBC that “young people on the latest HIV drugs now have near-normal life expectancy because of improvements in treatments”. Visits to the ‘HIV and AIDS symptoms’ page saw a 20% rise in traffic to total 12,787, while the ‘introduction’ page saw visits go up by 20% to 9,856. The related Behind the Headlines story saw close to 2,000 visits.

Top 10 videos: Video views, including those on the NHS Choices YouTube channel, were 156,539, a 3.90% decrease compared with the previous week. The ‘Pilates’ video was top, with 4,549 views.

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