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Norovirus – spread the word, not the virus!

People are being asked not to visit hospitals and other healthcare facilities across North Wales if they have experienced any of the symptoms of norovirus recently.

Normally at this time of year we expect to see the number of cases of diarrhoea and vomiting recorded in the community increasing. People are therefore being asked to help prevent the spread of these illnesses, especially to vulnerable patients, by not bringing those illnesses into hospital.

Amanda Miskell, Assistant Director of Nursing for Infection Prevention, said: “Since early December we have experienced an increase in patients being admitted to hospital with viral illnesses including norovirus.

“We’ve had really positive support from the public in recent years to our advice on what to do if you think you have norovirus, or any other gastroenteritis symptoms. The support of people across North Wales is absolutely vital in helping to reduce the spread of these viruses, and others in our hospitals and wider communities.

“While most people will get over a case of norovirus, for example, within a few days with rest and rehydration, it can be much more serious for people who are already ill, the very young and the elderly.

“Because norovirus, like most viruses, may spread rapidly from person to person, our advice is to stay at home until you're feeling better. Even if your symptoms have stopped you may still be able to spread the virus for the following 48 hours, so try to avoid coming to our hospitals.”

Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is the best way to stop it spreading. Alcohol hand gels don't kill norovirus.

You can catch norovirus from:

  • close contact with someone with norovirus
  • touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them, then touching your mouth
  • eating food that's been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus

More information is available from the NHS Direct Wales website.