Norovirus is highly infectious and causes vomiting and diarrhoea but usually passes in a couple of days. (Image: AP)
England has reported a rise in cases of Norovirus, a highly contagious virus similar to the coronavirus. Public Health England said that in the last 5 weeks, 154 outbreaks have been reported, compared to an average of 53 outbreaks reported over the same time period in the previous 5 years.
"The overall number of laboratory-confirmed norovirus reports across all age groups has also recently increased to the levels seen in previous years before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic," it said in a statement on July 16.
The increase in outbreaks has been mostly in educational settings, particularly in nursery and childcare facilities, with far more incidents reported to PHE than would be expected in the summer months, it added.
Everything you need to know about norovirusWhat is norovirus?
Norovirus is sometimes called the stomach flu
or stomach bug. However, norovirus illness is not related to the flu which is caused by influenza virus, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Norovirus is highly infectious and causes vomiting and diarrhoea but usually passes in a couple of days. It is easily transmitted through contact with infected individuals or contaminated surfaces, PHE said.What are the symptoms of norovirus?
Norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach or intestines. This is called acute gastroenteritis.
A person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to norovirus. Most people with norovirus illness get better within 1 to 3 days.
According to CDC, the most common symptoms of norovirus are diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, stomach pain. Other symptoms may be fever, headache, body aches.How does norovirus spread?
According to CDC, norovirus spreads very easily and quickly in different ways such as eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus; touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus and then putting fingers in the mouth, or having direct contact with someone who is infected with norovirus, such as by caring for them or sharing food or eating utensils with them.How to prevent the spread of norovirus?
CDC recommends practising proper hand hygiene like washing hands thoroughly with soap and water especially after using the toilet or changing diapers, always before eating, preparing, or handling food, and before giving yourself or someone else medicine.