A 3D graphical representation of a single Norovirus virion
Norovirus spreads quickly and can be extremely unpleasant.

Stay away from your GP if you have this common winter virus

The country’s top public health authority has warned that norovirus is hitting people in Hull.

Rates of the bug in the wider Yorkshire and Humber area are slightly higher than usual for this time of year, Public Health England (PHE) figures show.

Also known as the winter vomiting virus, it spreads quickly and can be extremely unpleasant.

Health authorities have urged anyone with norovirus not to visit their GP or walk-in centres as this increases the spread of the illness.

Instead, those affected should treat themselves at home, stay off work or school and ensure they follow good hygiene procedures.

Dr James Crick, consultant in public health medicine and associate medical director for Hull City Council and Hull NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said simple steps can make all the difference.

He said: “Norovirus can be extremely unpleasant and is able to spread very quickly, so it’s important to follow medical advice. There is nothing a GP can give you that will cure the virus and visiting the surgery will just put others at risk.

“Instead, stay at home, keep affected children off school, stay hydrated, take paracetamol if necessary and follow best hygiene practices, including washing hands thoroughly after using the toilet and before preparing food.

“The vast majority of people will completely recover in one or two days, but make sure you don’t go back to work or school until 48 hours after your last bout of sickness or diarrhoea. It is particularly important to drink plenty of fluids in the very young, elderly or those with weakened immunity, to avoid dehydration risk”.

Nick Phin, national infection service deputy director at PHE, said : “Cases of norovirus are at levels slightly higher than we would expect to see at this time of year.

“These levels are not unprecedented as norovirus activity varies from year to year and we continue to actively monitoring the situation.

“We advise people not to visit GP surgeries and hospitals with symptoms.”

Anyone who is concerned should call NHS 111 or call their GP.

The City of Culture Volunteers during Pride in Hull.
A woman enjoys Christmas lights