Britain: More than 1 million sickened with norovirus

Norovirus Image/CDC

Norovirus Image/CDC

The British Health Protection Agency (HPA) reported the latest figures on norovirus in the country, which show that the number of confirmed cases in 2012 is 83 percent higher than in 2011, according to an HPA press release Dec. 28.

The agency reports 3,538 laboratory confirmed cases of norovirus this season. This is up nearly 500 cases from just last week (3,046).

The total lab-confirmed cases represent a 83 percent increase compared to the same time frame in 2011 (1,934 cases).

However, based on the HPA estimate that “for each confirmed case, there are a further 288 unreported cases”, the total number of norovirus cases in Britain would be over 1 million.

In addition, during the past two weeks, HPA officials reported 70 hospital outbreaks of norovirus, bring the total for the year to 538.

HPA norovirus expert John Harris said, “The number of laboratory confirmed cases has risen once again as it appears that we have seen the rise in cases that usually begins in January start a little earlier than we normally expect.

“Norovirus is very contagious, and very unpleasant. To help prevent spread of the disease, it’s important that people who believe they are unwell with the virus maintain good hand hygiene and stay away from hospitals, schools and care homes, as these closed environments are particularly prone to outbreaks which can cause severe disruption.”

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- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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