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Home Industry News Rise in norovirus activity noted by HPA

Rise in norovirus activity noted by HPA

10th December 2010

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has issued a warning that the number of norovirus outbreaks taking place in UK hospitals rose sharply last month.

During November 2010, a total of 43 outbreaks were recorded by the organisation – a 50 percent increase on the month before – with 39 of these incidents resulting in ward closures.

The highly contagious condition can lead to in vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches and high temperatures and is most likely to spread in closed environments such as hospitals and schools.

HPA epidemiologist and norovirus specialist John Harris said such outbreaks can cause severe disruption to hospital services, adding that the figures show that the annual seasonal rise in norovirus cases is now "well under way".

He added: "Anyone who thinks they may have it should not to go to their doctor's surgery or accident and emergency, as this could spread the illness to vulnerable people and healthcare workers."

Last month, the body welcomed government proposals to create a new service called Public Health England, which would encompass all of the HPA's current functions.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800284773-ADNFCR

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