Winter vomiting bug strikes down thousands5th December 2012
Data released by the Department of Health has shown that the number of people affected by the winter vomiting bug is far higher than last year.
Figures from the Health Protection Agency showed there were 2,313 confirmed cases of norovirus since July. This is an increase of 64% since the same time in 2011, when there were 1,412 cases of the bug.
HPA experts said that every confirmed case represents at least 288 cases where people do not go to their GP.
The Daily Mail estimated that this could mean 700,000 people have had the bug since July.
The Department of Health said one third of hospitals in England have had outbreaks of norovirus in the last two weeks and in 64 of the 144 NHS trusts in England, 1,695 patients caught the bug.
Dr Bob Adak, head of the gastrointestinal diseases department at the HPA, said: "The norovirus season is always completely unpredictable as it peaks and falls over several months - usually October to April.
"However, one thing we do know is that every year we will see a large amount of norovirus activity because it is highly contagious.
"We would like to remind people to avoid visiting friends or relatives in hospital or care homes if they have symptoms consistent with a norovirus infection as it can lead to ward closures and severe disruption."
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Title: Winter vomiting bug strikes down thousands
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 23316
Date Added: 5th Dec 2012