Health bosses issue norovirus threat warning

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Health authorities are warning of the dangers of norovirus this winter.

North Somerset Community Partnership (NSCP), North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and North Somerset Council have joined forces to raise awareness of the winter vomiting bug which is usually in its peak season from September to April.

Common symptoms of the highly contagious bug include vomiting and diarrhoea while some people can also suffer from headaches, mild temperatures and stomach cramps.

The virus can cause further health problems for patients already in hospital so anyone with the bug is being urged to stay at home and call NHS 111 for advice.

Mary Backhouse, chief clinical officer for the CCG, said: “Each year it is estimated that between 600,000 and one million people in the UK catch norovirus and it can have a huge impact on our local health services.

“We would advise that people who have diarrhoea or vomiting should avoid visiting hospital, GP surgeries or nursing homes in order to reduce the spread of the illness in hospitals and the community.”

Matt Lenny, lead for health protection at the North Somerset Council, encouraged people to ensure they maintain good personal hygiene to avoid contracting or spreading norovirus.

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He said: “Good hygiene measures are key to limiting the spread of the virus.

“Taking some simple steps and ensuring that good hygiene habits are used can help stop the spread of this nasty winter virus.”