28 Dec 2011
The number of hospital beds closed due to norovirus-type symptoms in the NHS has doubled within a week – although this is still inside expected levels, the Government said.
The average number of affected beds went from 720 to 1,545 between December 11 and December 18, according to Department of Health figures. In the same period in 2010 the total rose slightly less sharply, from an average of 1,002 beds to 1,805 over the same timescale.
In order to curb the spread of the virus between patients, some wards have been closed in NHS hospitals.
Data from the Health Protection Agency on the number of confirmed cases of laboratory-confirmed cases of norovirus showed that the weekly number of cases in the previous three weeks were below average for this time of year.
A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “If you are concerned and have symptoms consistent with norovirus you should call NHS Direct or the local GP practice for advice.”
Copyright Press Association 2011