Warning as winter vomiting bug spreads in NW

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WIGANERS are being urged to take steps to avoid a winter vomiting bug which has hit the North West.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) in the North West has issued a warning over Norovirus.

Norovirus infection is the most common cause of vomiting and diarrhoea in the UK, affecting 600,000 to 1m people every year.

The symptoms are severe vomiting and or diarrhoea, but it is generally a short-lived illness from which the majority of people will recover in 12-60 hours without treatment other than resting and taking fluids to replace lost liquids. The illness is highly infectious and great care needs to be taken to prevent its spread.

Dr Ken Lamden, who has lead responsibility at HPA North West for infectious intestinal disease, said: “We know from past experience that we can expect to see more outbreaks of norovirus infection as winter approaches so we are taking action to limit the impact on individuals and institutions, such as hospitals and residential care homes.

“Norovirus infection is particularly difficult to contain when it gets into environments where people live or work in close proximity like schools, offices and hospitals.

“In hospitals, it is often necessary to close wards to stop it spreading. It can also lead to staff illness. However, there are things people can do to protect themselves.”

For more information call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.