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Winter vomiting bug case numbers soar

Wednesday 19th December 2012
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Winter vomiting bug numbers have significantly increased in the in the past year, according to the latest figures released by The Health Protection Agency (HPA).

The organisation noted that the amount of noroviruses detected in hospitals across England and Wales had jumped markedly in 2012, when compared to the same time in 2011.

It is estimated that there had been around 880,000 cases in the past year in these countries, which represents an 83 per cent rise in the last 12 months. The situation was not solely confined to England and Wales with HPA Scotland also noting an increase in winter vomiting bug cases north of the border.

Officials at the HPA stated that there had been over 3,000 laboratory reports of the norovirus and that there had also been 61 hospital outbreaks in the past year, which had forced a number of facilities across the UK to close. A recent publication by the organisation revealed that various wards have been forced to close to new patients to prevent the spread of the disease.

The likes of Birmingham's City Hospital, Maidstone Hospital in Kent, and George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton, Warwickshire have all had to shut off certain wards while staff at these facilities look for the appropriate sterile services to help prevent more patients becoming affected in the future.

John Harris, an expert in norovirus at the HPA said: "Norovirus is very contagious so we would urge anyone who thinks they may be unwell with norovirus to stay at home and stay away from hospitals and care homes.

"The infection is short-lived although it is very unpleasant while you are unwell. Most people will not need to go to see their doctor and will recover in a couple of days. It is important to take plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration."

Symptoms of a winter vomiting bug can be caused by a highly infectious norovirus and can be passed on to different patients very easily through the air, making it rife in certain hospitals.

written by Megan SmithADNFCR-1780-ID-801509949-ADNFCR

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