Hundreds of thousands of people are suffering from a virus known as Norovirus this winter. Data shows that the virus is attacking 83 percent more people than it did the year before. It is believed that the virus is affecting more people this year than last year due to an earlier breakout. Most of the Norovirus cases are recorded between January and March. As of now, around 900,000 people have been affected by the virus, making this the worst Norovirus season in history.
The virus causes people to vomit a lot, resulting in 5000 workers calling in sick every day. Emeritus professor of bacteriology at Aberdeen University, Hugh Pennington, believes that the virus has been able to spread so quickly because of the cold weather. The virus is easier to transmit inside, where it is warm, rather than outside, where it is cold. In the last week the number of cases has doubled. In this season alone 3,046 cases have been confirmed in lab. That number is expected to be just a fraction of the number of people who have been afflicted by the Norovirus. Outbreaks of the virus in hospitals have doubled as 61 hospitals have struggled with outbreaks.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, who is the Chief Medical Officer for the government in the UK says,
“For most people norovirus is an unpleasant but short lived illness. There is no specific treatment but patients are advised to drink plenty of fluids and stay at home. Anyone who is concerned should call their local GP Practice for advice.”
A Department of Health spokesperson added,
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“The NHS is well prepared for the increase in winter related health problems which are typical at this time of year. Our weekly published figures show the number of beds closed across the NHS due to norovirus symptoms is around 2 per cent. This compares to 2.9 per cent of beds that were closed during the peak of norovirus cases last winter.”