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Residents can help prevent spread of norovirus says health chief

Norovirus, also called the "winter vomiting bug", is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be very unpleasant, but usually goes away in about two days.

The bug, currently circulating in the local community, has recently been the cause of confirmed illness in several Wirral hospital wards.

Ahead of another busy, and wintry, weekend for Wirral numerous specialists have offered their advice to residents looking to stay well, this winter.

Dr Paula Cowan, Chair of Wirral CCG and GP champion, said: “While seasonal cases of norovirus are nothing out of the ordinary in Wirral and indeed nationally, reducing the spread is something we can all take responsibility for.

“Staying home to rest, away from relatives - especially little ones and older people - is advised as these groups can really suffer with the illness.

“If you’ve had symptoms of norovirus, staying away from work, school, hospitals and other public places is advised for at least two days.”

According to advice from Wirral University Teaching Hospital, members of the public who have been experiencing symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting in the last 48 hours should not visit patients at hospital until they have been feeling well and symptom free for at least two days.

This is vital to promote the safety of vulnerable patients and avoid the spread in hospitals.

There is no specific treatment for Norovirus but these simple steps can help:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Take paracetamol as per instructions.
  • Always wash hands with soap and water before meals and after using the toilet.
  • Keep away from others, especially GP surgeries, walk-in centres or hospitals. 

Paul Moore, Acting Chief Nurse at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, said: “We are asking visitors to help prevent norovirus being brought into the hospital from the community. 

“We would like to thank members of the public for their assistance at this time.”

  • For more information, please visit: nhs.uk/conditions/norovirus/
  • If you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do, get help and advice from NHS 111, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Either call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk.
  • In an emergency, always call 999.