Norovirus Rages in England

Posted on January 12, 2008

Norovirus is raging through England. Times Online reports that 2.8 million people have been sick with the norovirus in England and another 200,000 are falling ill each week.

The rate of new cases being confirmed has reached the levels of reports during the massive outbreak five years ago, when officials announced an epidemic.

Norovirus can prove deadly for vulnerable people, such as children and the elderly. The impact of the bug has been exacerbated by a new outbreak of flu with those most at risk now being given antiviral drugs by their doctors.

NHS Direct, which patients can telephone for health advice, has been inundated with people calling with symptoms of the norovirus.

Helen Young, the clinical director, said: "We are seeing an increasing number of calls about diarrhoea and vomiting. Norovirus is a major issue for the whole NHS right now and we urge anyone who has symptoms to engage in good hygiene to prevent it spreading further and to drink plenty of fluids."

The number of reports of norovirus is expected to rise over the next six weeks, as children return to school and employees head back to work after the Christmas break.

There was a particularly severe strain of norovirus that hit the United States last year. This virus will really hit you hard for a couple of days before you start feeling better. It really does as the Times reports lead to symptoms of "projectile vomiting, diarrhoea, mild fevers and headaches." The virus can continue to spread via stools for two to three weeks after a person is infected which makes it very difficult to curtail the spread of the dreaded virus.

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