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13 outbreaks of bugs like norovirus in Cornwall

13 outbreaks of bugs like norovirus in Cornwall

Published by Emma Cartonat 6:33am 30th November 2018.

Figures reveal there have been more than a dozen outbreaks of infectious bugs like norovirus in Cornwall.

Public Health England has confirmed the number recorded since the start of October.

However officials say the true total could be even higher, because of the way cases are reported.

What do the figures show?

Since winter reporting began, there have been 13 reported outbreaks of infectious intestinal disease (IID) (including norovirus) across the Duchy.

This includes education settings, care homes, hospitals and the wider community.

"Due to variation in the completeness of reports, under-ascertainment is likely to be an issue with laboratory surveillance and IID outbreak reporting.

"Reporting of outbreaks is neither consistent nor complete and it is likely that only a small proportion of outbreaks have samples collected for microbiological confirmation.

"For these reasons, these figures should be interpreted with caution".

Public Health England

What is the advice for patients?

Dr Bayad Nozad, Consultant Communicable Disease Control for PHE South West Centre, had this advice for patients:

"Cases of norovirus in the south-west are currently at expected levels for the time of year.

"One of the best ways to protect against norovirus is by practicing good hygiene. This includes thorough hand washing with soap and warm water after using the toilet and before eating or preparing foods.

"Most people will make a full recovery within 1-2 days but it is important to drink plenty of fluids during that time to prevent dehydration especially in the very young, elderly or those with weakened immunity.

"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".

What are the signs of norovirus and how can I stop it spreading?

The main symtoms of norovirus are suddenly feeling sick, projectile vomiting and watery diarrhoea.

It's not always possible to avoid getting norovirus, but following the advice below can help stop the virus spreading:

  • Stay off work or school until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have passed. You should also avoid visiting anyone in hospital during this time.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food. Don't rely on alcohol hand gels, as they do not kill the virus.
  • Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated. It's best to use a bleach-based household cleaner.
  • Wash any items of clothing or bedding that could have become contaminated separately on a hot wash to ensure the virus is killed.
  • Don't share towels and flannels.
  • Flush away any infected poo or vomit in the toilet and clean the surrounding area.
  • Avoid eating raw, unwashed produce and only eat oysters from a reliable source, as oysters can carry norovirus.

You can read more advice from NHS Choices here

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