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Public health advice on Norovirus outbreak

Public health experts at Cumbria County Council are reminding people to wash their hands regularly and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration following an outbreak of the Norovirus.

Norovirus has been confirmed on Wards 1 and 6 at Furness General Hospital and on Ward 6 at Westmorland General Hospital.

Norovirus is one of the most common stomach bugs and can be very unpleasant, however it usually clears up by itself in a few days. Typical symptoms of a Norovirus infection include:

  • Sudden onset of projectile vomiting
  • Watery diarrhoea
  • Some people also experience headaches, mild temperature and stomach cramps

Norovirus is highly contagious and spreads rapidly. It can be spread through contact with an infected person; by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects; or by consuming contaminated food or water.

If symptoms persist, ask for a telephone consultation with your family doctor. Try to avoid visiting your GP surgery or local A&E Unit as you may pass the infection on to others.

Wash hands thoroughly and regularly at all times, but particularly after using the toilet and before eating.

Do not visit friends or relatives in hospitals or residential care homes until you have fully recovered and have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours as there is a real risk of introducing the infection into these communities putting vulnerable people at risk.

Stay away from work or school until you have fully recovered and been free of symptoms for 48 hours.

Do not handle or prepare food for other people until you have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.

Drink plenty of fluids to prevent you becoming dehydrated.

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