Norovirus cases up 83%20th December 2012
Latest data from the Health Protection Agency has revealed confirmed reports on norovirus are up 83% on last season.
In the week ending 9 December there were 337 confirmed laboratory reports of the winter vomiting bug and 236 for the week ending 2 December.
That takes the current total for this season to 3,046 confirmed laboratory reports of norovirus, compared to 1,669 for the same stage last season.
There were 61 hospital outbreaks during the last two weeks, compared to 35 in the same fortnight in 2011.
HPA norovirus expert John Harris said: "The number of laboratory confirmed cases has risen again, following the drop in the number we reported last week. This is typical of the norovirus season where the number of laboratory reports fluctuates between October and April with the bulk of cases usually occurring between January and March."
With norovirus being highly contagious, the HPA has urged anyone with the bug to stay at home and specifically to stay away from hospitals and care homes.
Dr Harris added: "The infection is short-lived although it is very unpleasant while you are unwell. Most people will not need to go to see their doctor and will recover in a couple of days. It is important to take plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration."
Experts say there are no indications as to why the norovirus outbreak is earlier this season and there is also concern at the figures because laboratory confirmed reports represent only a small proportion of the actual amount of norovirus activity in the community.
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