Residents urged to help to stop the spread of the winter vomiting bug
AT this time of year there is usually a rise in the number of people with the winter vomiting bug, Norovirus, and this year is no exception.
The NHS in north Essex is well prepared but is asking all residents to take simple precautions to help to stop the spread of this bug.
In particular those affected should avoid visiting hospitals for at least 48-hours after the symptoms have gone.
Denise Hagel, nursing director for NHS North Essex, said: “We are seeing an increase in the number of people with the winter vomiting bug. Although this is within the seasonal norm we are urging people to take simple precautions to stop the spread of this bug.
“It can make vulnerable people such as the elderly and those already unwell very sick. Our hospital wards have excellent infection control procedures but need residents to play their part by not going to hospital if they have the bug or have had symptoms in the last 48-hours.”
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“The best thing to do is to stay at home and take plenty of fluids. If you are having trouble keeping fluids down, taking your medication, or need advice then telephone your own GP surgery or NHS Direct on 0845 4647.”
Symptoms can begin suddenly and may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach-cramps, chills and muscle aches which tend to last for around 24 hours, although the bug may last for up to 48 hours in the body. Good cleanliness is essential to prevent the bug spreading to others.
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Chris Patridge, interim lead infection control nurse for NHS North Essex said: “The norovirus bug spreads really easily. The key to preventing this is very, very, thorough and frequent hand washing. Use soap and water and ensure all areas of the hands are washed.
“It is surprising how many germs survive hand-washing so being thorough is the key, particularly after going to the toilet, eating or preparing food.”