Health chiefs issue urgent warning over huge outbreak of norovirus cases in Sheffield

Health officials have issued a warning to the public over the spike of reported norovirus cases in Sheffield.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 10:39 am

Officials from Sheffield Health and Social Care urged those infected to stay at home for 48 hours after their symptoms have stopped.

In a statement posted on their Twitter: "There's been lots of reports of norovirus in Sheffield.

"If you or your family have had diarrhoea and vomiting, it's important that you don't return to school or work until you have been symptom-free for 48 hours.

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File photo dated 15/06/2006 of an antibacterial hand gel as 'basic precautions' to prevent the spread of the winter vomiting bug norovirus were urged today by the Scottish Government. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday January 8, 2012. Scotland's chief medical officer and chief nursing officer said people affected by the bug should follow simple tips to stop it spreading. They include staying hydrated, keeping hands clean and not preparing food for other people. Chief medical officer Sir Harry Burns said: 'Norovirus, or the winter vomiting bug, spreads quickly where people are living or working in close proximity - such as schools, hospitals, care homes, offices and hotels. See PA story SCOTLAND Bug. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

"Norovirus spreads very easily, so please help us contain it."

Outbreaks of norovirus, or commonly known as the winter vomiting bug, have seen an increase across South Yorkshire the past week where a school in Rotherham was forced to close for two days.

Public Health England also said it was aware of the norovirus outbreak in the region.

Also known as the stomach bug, which normally causes flu-like symptoms and sickness, can spread very easily through either close contact with someone with the illness, touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them then touching own's mouth or eating food prepared or handled by someone carrying the virus.

Health officials say they expect illnesses of this kind to circulate in schools and the community at this time of year.

People are encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly and frequently with soap - especially after eating or using the toilet - and to avoid using alcohol-based hand gels as they don't kill the norovirus.

Greg Fell, Director of Public Health for Sheffield, said: “We are sorry to hear that as usual at this time of year there are a number of norovirus cases, specifically in children, resulting in some schools taking the decision to close.

“One of the best ways to protect against norovirus is by practicing good hygiene, thorough handwashing with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and before eating or cooking.

“If your child is poorly please wait 48 hours after the last episode of sickness or D before allowing them to return to school. Most people will make a full recovery within 1-2 days.”