West Midlands health bosses have issued a warning after a rise in the number of cases of the stomach bug Norovirus.
Doctors have asked those affected with the contagious illness not to attend hospitals for at least 48-hours following infection.
the Norovirus, otherwise known as 'Winter Vomiting Bug' is highly contagious and can be passed onto others by contact with contaminated surfaces, objects or by eating contaminated food.
The virus spreads quickly in environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes.
Symptoms of norovirus include:
- A sudden onset of vomiting and/or diarrhoea
- A temperature
- A headache
- Stomach cramps
- A combination of the above brought on rapidly
There are some things you and your family can do to prevent the spread of the infection:
- Stay away from work, school or college until you have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours
- Do not handle or prepare food for other people until you have been symptom free for a minimum period of 48 hours
- Do not visit friends or relatives in hospitals or residential care homes to avoid introducing the infection to environments where it could spread easily and put vulnerable people at greater risk
- Do not attend social gatherings until you have been free of all symptoms for at least 48 hours
- Do not visit your GP surgery or local A&E Unit. You will recover naturally without treatment, but it is important to rest and keep yourself hydrated
- Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly at all times, but particularly after toilet visits and before eating
- Do not share towels with others. If possible, use paper towels after hand-washing and dispose of them immediately
- Thoroughly disinfected surfaces at home or in the workplace after an episode of illness
- If your symptoms persist or appear to be worsening, phone your family doctor or NHS 111 for advice
- If you have bloody diarrhoea (blood in your stools), phone your doctor or NHS 111 urgently for advice.