The highly infectious norovirus has hit around 68,000 people in the last week, according to figures from the Health Protection Agency. The number affected is double that of 2011.

The virus is spread by germs from poor hand hygiene and causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.

A London school, Wimbledon Chase Primary, has reported that 140 of their 639 pupils were off sick with the illness on Tuesday this week. Three quarters of a million have already been affected in the UK according to Channel 4 News, which reported on a ship, P&O’s Oriana, where 378 passengers and crew have been affected by the virus on a Baltic cruise.

In a press release from the HPA (Health Protection Agency) norovirus expert John Harris said “People should be vigilant in their hygiene and we would like to remind anyone who has typical symptoms suggestive of norovirus infection to avoid visiting friends or relatives in hospital or care homes.”

“Having a norovirus infection is very unpleasant but it is short-lived and most people will fully recover in a couple of days. Make sure that you or anyone you are caring for takes plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.”

Image: Thinkstock 

What is Norovirus? from Chesterfield Royal Hospital on Vimeo.