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Norovirus cases up 83%

The number of confirmed cases of norovirus is 83% higher than last season, according to the latest figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

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Winter vomiting bug hits hospitals

Dozens of hospitals have been forced to close their wards - following the recent outbreak of the contagious Norovirus.

Wards have had to close because of the Norovirus Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

In Staffordshire, four wards have been closed to new patients after an outbreak at the countys biggest hospital.

The restrictions mean up to 80 beds at the 1,100-bed University Hospital of North Staffordshire are out of action and unable to take emergency cases from its overstretched A&E unit.

In Scotland, wards at NHS Dumfries and Galloway Infirmary have been closed to new admissions.

The outbreak is the second in a matter of weeks at the hospital, where 38 patients and 14 staff have been affected.

And in Plymouth, three wards have been closed after the bug struck Derriford Hospital.

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