Health chiefs' advice over vomiting bug

HEALTH bosses are today urging people to take steps to avoid contracting the winter vomiting bug.In a bid to avoid an outbreak of the virus, which affects hundreds of people in the county each year, public health experts at NHS Suffolk are issuing tips to keep healthy.

HEALTH bosses are today urging people to take steps to avoid contracting the winter vomiting bug.

In a bid to avoid an outbreak of the virus, which affects hundreds of people in the county each year, public health experts at NHS Suffolk are issuing tips to keep healthy.

An outbreak of the Norovirus bug can put a huge pressure on hospital bed space.

Sufferers get bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting which last for one or two days, but they may remain contagious even after they start feeling better.

It is passed from person to person, mainly where bathrooms are shared, and can become a problem in institutions such as hospitals, schools and care homes.

Dr Peter Bradley, director of public health with NHS Suffolk, said: “Norovirus is highly infectious.

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“There are simple steps which you can take to prevent you from becoming one of that number.

“We would advise everyone to follow basic hygiene rules and use soap and water to wash their hands thoroughly after using the toilet and before preparing food.

“Anyone who is suffering from the illness should stay at home and drink plenty of fluids.

“They should stay away from other people wherever possible, particularly avoiding visiting hospitals, for at least 48 hours after they have recovered, even if they feel better.

“Otherwise they run the risk of unknowingly passing the illness onto others.

“Most people will recover quite quickly from the illness but anyone whose symptoms are not improving after 48 hours should seek medical help.”

Have you been affected by norovirus? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Norovirus

Noroviruses are part of a group of viruses that are the most common cause of gastroenteritis (stomach bugs) in the UK.

Noroviruses are also called the 'winter vomiting disease' because people tend to get them during the winter months, however, they can occur at any time of the year.

It is estimated that the Norovirus affects between 600,000 and one million people in the UK every year.

There are many different types of the virus and it is possible for infection to occur several times because after getting the illness, immunity to the virus only lasts for fourteen weeks.

There is no specific treatment, apart from letting the condition run its course.

SOURCE: NHS Direct

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