Warnings over winter vomiting virus

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WITH the winter weather hitting the country with a vengeance over the past month, warnings have been issued by doctors and health trusts across the region about avoiding some of the nasty bugs doing the rounds.

Winter vomiting virus, or norovirus is a stomach bug and the most common cause of gastroenteritis.

Norovirus and influenza are putting additional pressure on the ambulance service and warnings are being issued about how to avoid it.

Doctors’ surgeries around the Advertiser and Review region are also advising people in at-risk groups to go to their local doctor for a flu vaccination.

At risk groups include pregnant women, over 65s, people with serious medical conditions, carers, health professionals and people who work with poultry.

Dr Rebecca Pryse, from North End Surgery in Buckingham, said there had been an increase in outbreaks of flu over the past two to three weeks and a few local outbreaks of norovirus since early November.

She said: “It is possible that with the start of a new academic term we will see a further increase in these illnesses and would encourage parents to keep any ill children at home, both for their sake and that of their classmates.

“People with Norovirus remain contagious even after they feel better and the current advice is to stay away from others for at least 48 hours after they feel better.”

She added the best way to prevent the spreading of flu was to remember the phrase, ‘catch it, bin it, kill it,’ and people with norovirus should not visit their GP’s surgery or the local A and E.

Nationally, there has been an increase in the number of people in critical care beds with confirmed or suspected flu.

People with non life-threatening injuries or illness can be treated by access the appropriate NHS service. They can call NHS Direct on 0845 4647, their out-of-hours GP service, their local walk-in centre or minor injuries unit, accident and emergency or consult their local pharmacist.