The norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting. Norovirus can cause people to become sick. Anyone can get infected.
You can get infected by being in direct contact with a person infected with the norovirus. Touching objects or surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus and putting the fingers or hands you used to your mouth can also get you infected. Eating food contaminated with the norovirus also increases your risk of becoming infected with the virus.
In a report published by Public Health England, norovirus rates are 26% higher compared to last year. Around 332 people have already been confirmed to have been infected by the virus between October 28 and November 10. To date, 18 outbreaks have been recorded, which resulted in hospital wards in England and Wales being closed.
Health Officials Respond
For their part, health officials have been giving out advisories and warnings. They also advised those who are already showing signs of being infected not to go to hospitals and other closed areas as they might spread the infection.
According to officials, the area where the most confirmed number of individual cases appears to be South West of England. Sixty-two cases of infection have been reported within two weeks.
The most number of cases of reported outbreaks in hospitals are in the South East area. Officials say, based on records, six cases are confirmed as experiencing a virus outbreak.
In Lancashire last month, 50 pupils and staff of Carnforth North Road Primary School were reported infected by the norovirus, causing officials to shut down the school. In Staffordshire, Cannock Chase Hospital cut down their visiting period to only an hour each day because of the outbreak.
In Nuneaton, Warwickshire, restrictions were also implemented at George Eliot Hospital for four days after an outbreak. Doctors also told patients that norovirus is wreaking havoc in Hull and East Yorkshire.
This week, Wirral’s Rock Ferry Primary School was also closed after an outbreak of norovirus struck down more than 100 children. Many of their staff were also reported to be infected. With norovirus showing an increase in cases at 70, health officials fear it might cause even more havoc as it continues to spread.
Officials are warning everyone that the virus is highly contagious. They are hoping to contain it, however, to stop it from further spreading. They say people should steer clear of places where the virus can quickly spread. These include hospitals and schools.
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