Health bosses issue warning about possible spread of norovirus to Mansfield and Ashfield

Health officials have issued a warning to the public over the spike of reported norovirus cases across the region

Saturday, 7th December 2019, 12:00 pm

It comes after officials at Sheffield Health and Social Care urged those infected to stay at home for 48 hours after their symptoms have stopped, following a serious outbreak that caused a school in Rotherham to close.

Both hospitals in Nottingham revealed at the end of last month that cases of norovirus had been detected, and residents were urged not to visit the hospitals as to avoid spreading the virus.

Your Chad contacted Sherwood Forest Hospitals to see if there has been any cases at our hospital yet, but a spokesman did not confirm that it has been detected at King’s Mill Hospital.

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If you have norovirus avoid King's Mill Hospital.

Nick Phin, national infection service deputy director, said: “Cases of norovirus are at higher levels than we would expect to see at this time of year, although this is not unprecedented.

“Practising good hygiene is one of the best ways to protect against norovirus. This includes thorough hand washing with soap and warm water after using the toilet and before eating or preparing food.

“We advise people not to visit GP surgeries and hospitals with symptoms. However, if they are concerned they should contact NHS 111 or talk to their GP by phone.”

The bug, which normally causes flu-like symptoms and sickness, norovirus can spread very easily through either close contact with someone with the illness, touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them then touching one’s mouth, or eating food prepared or handled by someone carrying the virus.

Health officials say they expect illnesses of this kind to circulate in schools and the community at this time of year noting the flu vaccination is the best form of protection against the virus.

People are encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly and frequently with soap - especially after eating or using the toilet - and to avoid using alcohol-based hand gels as they don't kill the norovirus.