Norovirus warning issued as case ranges stay ‘very high’

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Norovirus, computer illustration. Norovirus is a genus of RNA (ribonucleic acid) viruses (of the family Caliciviridae), which cause about half of all gastroenteritis cases around the world. The disease is characterised by nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. The diarrhoea results in fluid loss and dehydration, which may become life-threatening in the young, the elderly, and the immunocompromised if not treated promptly.

Norovirus is characterised by nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and belly ache (Image: Getty)

England is seeing a ‘very high’ spike in norovirus instances, forcing well being chiefs to concern a warning.

Instances of the extremely infectious vomiting bug have been surging, principally affecting folks aged 65 and over.

NHS figures present a mean of 551 grownup hospital beds have been occupied final week by sufferers with diarrhoea and vomiting or norovirus-like signs.

That is simply over the 547 within the earlier week, however it’s greater than double the 264 at this stage in 2022.

Outbreaks in colleges are additionally working above the five-year common, affecting very younger kids.

Well being specialists worry this might put extra strain on already struggling hospitals, with Covid admissions including to demand for beds.

Dr Lesley Larkin, surveillance lead for gastrointestinal infections and meals security on the UK Well being Safety Company (UKHSA), mentioned outbreaks at colleges have returned to pre-pandemic ranges.

Dad and mom have additionally been warned to be looking out as kids in early years are ‘particularly affected’ by the sickness.

However the highest charges are being seen in sufferers over the age of 65 and the below fives.

Dr Larkin mentioned: ‘Norovirus ranges proceed to be very excessive and most reported instances are within the over-65s.

‘Younger kids and older adults are at larger danger of creating dehydration whereas unwell with norovirus.

‘Dehydration can result in hospitalisation, so it’s necessary to drink loads of fluids when unwell and make contact with NHS 111 or your GP surgical procedure should you want recommendation.

‘Norovirus could be very infectious however there are issues we are able to do to cease the unfold.

‘Hand gels don’t kill norovirus so handwashing with cleaning soap and heat water is greatest.

‘If you or your child get the virus you should not return to work – particularly if you work with vulnerable people or food – or send your children back to school until 48 hours after symptoms stop.’

Norovirus is the most typical infectious explanation for vomiting and diarrhoea.

It spreads simply via contact with somebody who has the virus or with contaminated surfaces.

Most individuals make a full restoration inside two or three days, though the virus can result in dehydration, particularly among the many very younger, aged or these with weakened immune programs.

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