Norovirus (article in today's Mail)
NHS Direct is handling more than 4,000 calls a week from people suffering from suspected norovirus, figures showed today.
The number seeking help for diarrhoea and vomiting has been rising in recent weeks as the virus begins to take hold over the British winter.
In November, NHS Direct received a total of 17,700 calls about these symptoms, which are most often caused by the virulent bug norovirus.
The bug causes nausea, sudden onset of vomitting, diarrhoea, stomach pains, cramps and fever.
It is often known as the 'winter vomiting bug?, as outbreaks are always worst from October to March.
Last winter the outbreak was particularly severe, affecting an estimated 500,000 people by January and causing numerous hospital wards to close.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has analysed the data for NHS Direct's call volume and found it is consistently high enough to suggest the 'beginning and continuation of periods of norovirus activity nationally'.
Dont blame our hotels and restaurants!!!