72% increase in norovirus cases

Latest figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) show there has been a 72% increase in the number of cases of the norovirus as reported at the same point last year.

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Cases of winter bug Norovirus on the increase

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 laboratory confirmed cases has risen once again as it appears that we have seen the rise in cases that usually begins in January start a little earlier than we normally expect.

Norovirus is very contagious, and very unpleasant. To help prevent spread of the disease, it's important that people who believe they are unwell with the virus maintain good hand hygiene and stay away from hospitals, schools and care homes, as these closed environments are particularly prone to outbreaks which can cause severe disruption.

– John Harris, Heath Protection Agency Norovirus expert

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