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Winter sickness bug currently circulating

05 February 2019

Health Care

Norovirus, also known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’, is commonplace within the community at this time of year and is currently circulating with reported cases at Southend University Hospital and at care homes across the community.

Symptoms include diarrhoea and vomiting and can be passed from person to person. If you have had these symptoms in the last 48 hours, or have been in contact with someone who has, please do NOT visit our hospitals to help us reduce the risk of norovirus infections.

  • Patients not affected by the bug should still attend their hospital appointments
  • People can still collect patients who are ready to leave hospital.


To help prevent the spread of infection, people are advised to:

  • Wash their hands thoroughly using soap and water and drying
  • them after using the toilet, before preparing food and eating
  • Not rely on alcohol gels as these do not kill the virus
  • An infection with norovirus is self-limiting and most people will make a
  • full recovery in 1-2 days. It is important to keep hydrated - especially
  • children and the elderly.
  • Do not visit either A&E or GPs with symptoms as this may spread the virus.

Good hand hygiene is important to stop the spread of the virus. Local health partners across south Essex have developed a children's book to teach children about the importance of washing their hands.

Further information and advice is available from NHS 111, including an online symptom checker at www.nhs.uk.