Health bosses' reminder as winter vomiting bug spreads

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Health bosses are reminding people in the North East to take precautions against spreading the winter vomiting bug norovirus.

Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England have issued the reminder as nororvirus begins to circulate in the community.

Dr Deb Wilson, consultant in health protection for PHE North East said: “As we’d expect at this time of year, we are seeing norovirus circulate more in the community, particularly in settings like care homes, hospitals, and schools.

"Symptoms of norovirus include diarrhoea and vomiting, which although unpleasant are generally short lived.

“If you develop vomiting or diarrhoea and think it could be norovirus, seek advice from your pharmacist or NHS 111.

"Please don’t visit vulnerable family and friends, especially if they are in hospital or in care homes, until at least 48 hours after your symptoms have stopped as you could pass the infection on to them.

“Make sure you wash your hands often.

"Good hand hygiene whether you have norovirus or not is also important to reduce your risk of catching it.”

Dr Jonathan Slade, medical director for NHS England Cumbria and the North East, said: “If you are unfortunate enough to fall ill there are lots of options to help get you back on your feet again, ranging from pharmacists who offer free and quick advice to help treat symptoms at home, over the counter medicines which safe and effective, to GP surgeries and NHS 111.

"Please remember to keep A&E for serious and life-threatening emergencies only.”