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Over 100,000 people were struck down with the winter vomiting bug over Christmas.
For every reported case of norovirus in England Wales, an estimated 288 were not flagged up, meaning around 1.12 million could have contracted the illness around Christmas, according to the Health Protection Agency.
This is roughly 100,000 more than the pre-Christmas period - until December 23 - when 1.01 million people were thought to have been struck by the bug.
Latest figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) show there has been a 72% increase in the number of cases reported at the same point last year.
The HPA have seen 3,877 laboratory confirmed cases of norovirus this season (from week 27 to week 51 2012).
Cases of norovirus have risen earlier than expected this winter season and this is a trend that has been seen across Europe and other parts of the world. It has not yet been determined why this has been the case and activity varies significantly from year to year.
- During the two weeks up to 30 December there were 29 hospital outbreaks reported, compared to 70 in the previous fortnight, bringing the total of outbreaks for the season to 590
John Harris, an expert in norovirus from the HPA said:
Daybreak's Health Editor, Dr Hilary Jones has told viewers that "a million people are estimated to get the Norovirus every year."
"It's around all year long, it's just worse in the winter," he added.
The Norovirus bug, which has affected almost one million people in England and Wales, is highly contagious and can be transmitted through contact with an infected person or contaminated surfaces and objects.
It is known to spread rapidly in closed environments such as hospitals, schools and nursing homes.
Although people can suffer from norovirus at any time of the year, activity increases in the winter months, with most cases seen between January and March.
The number of cases of winter vomiting bug norovirus could rise to more than one million, according to new figures released by the Health Protection Agency.
Latest statistics show that there have been 3,538 laboratory confirmed cases of the virus during a 23-week period up until December 16th this year.
The amount of norovirus cases represents a small percentage of the actual numbers of norovirus activity as it is estimated that for each confirmed case, there are a further 288 unreported cases.
The latest figures eclipse last year's statistics at the same point.