Hundreds of people across the North East have been affected by a norovirus, with some schools having to close to stop infection from spreading.
Pupils and staff are both off sick with norovirus, and Crewe’s Leighton Hospital was forced to close two wards. Schools across County Durham have been forced to close too, to prevent it spreading further.
Now, parents and teachers are on high alert because it can spread rapidly and can be picked up easily in public spaces like schools, offices, etc.
According to NHS UK, you can catch it from close contact with someone who has it, as well as touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them.
Symptoms of norovirus include vomiting, diarrhoea, as well as a high temperature, a headache, and aching arms and legs. It’s often referred to as the ‘winter vomiting bug’.
Stats have shown that norovirus rates are 26 per cent higher than usual, with a total of 332 people confirmed to have the bug between October 28th and November 10th.
According to the Daily Mail, this high number has been confirmed by Public Health England. But don’t panic just yet, as norovirus is not considered to be serious.
Symptoms of the illness should go away within 72 hours. Most people don’t need treatment in order for it to pass.
Nick Phin from Public Health England said, “Cases of norovirus are at levels slightly higher than we would expect to see at this time of year.
“These levels are not unprecedented as norovirus activity varies from year to year and we continue to actively monitor the situation.”
Despite it not being serious, due to the fact it can spread very easily, you shouldn’t go to GPs or hospitals and should stay home to recover from your symptoms.
Nick added, “We advise people not to visit GP surgeries and hospitals with symptoms, however if they are concerned they should contact NHS 111 or talk to their GP by phone.”