Norovirus outbreak: Nasty, dangerous but avoidable
Northumberland and North Tyneside residents are urged to not visit hospital sites unless absolutely necessary
Painful and highly contagious
Norovirus – commonly referred to as the ‘winter vomiting bug’ – has arrived at sites across Northumberland and North Tyneside. The virus usually starts with a sense of ‘feeling sick’ which is then followed by vomiting, and watery, loose diarrhoea. Depending on the person it can also include stomach cramps, general aches and pains, headaches and fever.
It is highly contagious and can spread at incredible speed in a number of ways.
Do not visit unless it is absolutely necessary
“Every year we are affected by norovirus to one degree or another – this year is part of that pattern,” said medical director Jeremy Rushmer “The issue is that, given how fast it spreads, we often have to close whole areas; this at a time when the whole system is already under unsustainable pressure.
“It’s now severe enough that we are asking people to not visit our sites unless it is absolutely necessary. If someone you know has symptoms of norovirus do not visit – you risk causing harm to them, yourself and those close to you. If you have symptoms yourself – stay away. There is no cure; you just have to wait it out.”
How to avoid getting sick – Wash your hands!
The risk of norovirus is most effectively reduced by good hygiene and using common sense. Director of nursing Ellie Monkhouse, who has over 25 years’ experience as a frontline nurse, has this message for Northumbria residents:
For more information on norovirus, how to avoid getting it and what to steps to take if you do please see here.