CASES of norovirus are on the rise in England, new data has revealed.
Infections are up 19 per cent and experts have warned figures are higher than the usual for this time of year.
New figures from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) state there have been over 150 new cases reported.
However, it's likely that many with illness may not have been tested, so in reality, cases could be much higher.
Between October 3 and October 16, there have been on average, 153 cases of norovirus, the report states.
Norovirus – known as the winter vomiting bug is a highly infectious – and unpleasant – viral illness.
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The signs of norovirus you need to know
You are likely to have caught norovirus if you experience a sudden sick feeling, projectile vomiting and watery diarrhoea.
- Being sick (vomiting)
- Feeling sick (nausea)
- A high temperature
- A headache
- Aching arms and legs
The first three symptoms are the most common, with other people also experiencing a high temperature, headache and aching limbs.
Those who are unlucky enough to catch it will usually experience vomiting and or diarrhoea.
Meanwhile, cases of rotavirus – another childhood tummy bug – have also increased in recent weeks but are no higher than usual for this time of year.
Like norovirus, rotavirus symptoms usually include diarrhoea, vomiting, tummy ache and a high temperature.
What you can do to protect yourself?
Norovirus can be nasty, but there are ways that you can prevent you and your family catching the bug.
- Pay close attention to hygiene – wash your hands frequently, using soap and water
- Avoid close contact with people who are obviously sick.
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If you or members of your household are ill:
- Try to keep those with symptoms away from others until the illness has subsided for at least 48 hours
- Clean frequently – disinfect any potentially contaminated surfaces or objects
- Wash contaminated clothing or bedding using detergent at high temperature (60C)
- Do not allow anyone who is sick to prepare food for other people
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- Anyone who has symptoms should drink fluids and stay well hydrated. Consider adding rehydration salts to water. Eat plain foods (if you can manage eating).
- Seek medical attention if symptoms are not improving after 24 hours, or if concerned. This is especially important for young children and the elderly, as they are prone to rapid dehydration.
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