Doctors warn of norovirus threat after increase in cases

People are being warned to take precautions to help reduce the spread of norovirus after an increase in cases.

Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 11:19 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 1:02 pm

Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England have said there has been a rise in cases of diarrhoea and vomiting in counties across the south east, including Hampshire.

Norovirus, known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’, is more common in the colder months.

Dr Margot Nicholls, consultant in health protection for Public Health England South East said: ‘As we’d expect at this time of year, we are seeing norovirus circulate in the community, particularly in settings like care homes, hospitals, schools and nurseries.

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‘Symptoms of norovirus include diarrhoea and vomiting, which although unpleasant are generally short lived.’

People developing symptoms should seek advice from a pharmacist or call the NHS non-emergency 111 number.

They should also stay away from vulnerable family and friends, especially those in hospital or care homes, until at least 48 hours after symptoms have stopped.

Dr Nicholls added: ‘Make sure you wash your hands often as good hand hygiene is always important and reduces the risk of infection being passed from person to person.’

Nigel Acheson, regional medical director for NHS England South, said: ‘If you are unfortunate enough to fall ill there are lots of options for medical treatment or advice without leaving your home and increasing the risk of spreading infection.

‘Family and friends can visit the pharmacy on your behalf to obtain free expert advice along with over the counter medicines to help treat symptoms at home.

‘If you are concerned you can contact NHS 111 or talk to your GP by phone but do not visit the surgery.

‘Please remember to keep A&E for serious and life-threatening emergencies only.’