- 214 outbreaks of Norovirus reported in the community across South West so far this winter
- 107 outbreaks reported in care homes in weeks 40-49 this year, compared to 83 in the same time period during 2016
- Now is the time to improve hand hygiene and manage illness at home to stop spread of this unpleasant infectious bug
With less than a week to go until Christmas Day, Public Health England and NHS England are urging the public to protect themselves and their loved ones against the winter vomiting bug, Norovirus, by taking simple steps to stop the spread of the virus, particularly to vulnerable people.When a hospital ward is classed as ‘closed’ due to a Norovirus outbreak it means that the ward is closed to visitors and no further patients can be admitted until the outbreak is over – this can take weeks if the outbreak has affected a large number of patients. The same applies to care homes, and as the number of people visiting patients or residents rises during the Christmas period, the risk of well-meaning relatives passing on this nasty bug to their loved ones increases.
No visits to hospitals, care homes and GP surgeries if you are suffering from symptoms of Norovirus – send someone else to visit loved ones until you are better.
Regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water, especially after using the toilet, and before eating or preparing food Fiona Neely, Consultant in Communicable Diseases for Public Health England South West, said, Only hand-washing will prevent spread of Norovirus – alcohol hand gels DON’T kill the virus
•Once you’ve been symptom-free for at least 48 hours, you’re safe to return to work, school or visit hospitals and care home
•No-one wants norovirus for Christmas so follow these simple steps to stop the spread:
•Norovirus is a highly contagious stomach bug that causes diarrhoea and vomiting. Most people will recover within a few days and can return to work or school. However if Norovirus is introduced unintentionally into care homes and hospitals by visitors it can cause chaos, leading to ward closures and making it difficult for health care workers to treat vulnerable patients at the busiest time of the year.
•No-one wants a vomiting bug as a Christmas present, but each winter many people unintentionally bring Norovirus into hospitals and care home when visiting loved ones.
“If you have any suspicion that you have the symptoms of norovirus we would urge you to put off that visit to see a loved one in a care home or hospital