Hospitals in East Anglia have urged local people to do all they can to help them with their efforts to ensure the Norovirus does not cause major problems in the region.
The Eastern Daily Press has told how many of the area's major infirmaries seem to have come through the Christmas and new year period relatively unscathed. The Norovirus is a widespread problem across much of the UK, but has had only a minimal impact in the east.
It noted that over the winter as a whole so far, only seven wards in a total of four hospitals have been shut at any point. A year ago, this figure was 18, indicating health bosses in East Anglia may have got on top of the problem in 2013.
But they cannot do it all on their own, so are appealing for the public to contribute to a positive picture. Those who must visit hospitals have been urged to ensure they stick to hand hygiene regulations, while non-essential trips should be cancelled.
Emma McKay, director of nursing at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said: "We issue advice to visitors to try and keep norovirus out of our hospital and it is important that people do not visit patients if they have been ill with a stomach bug in the past few days or in contact with someone who has had sickness or diarrhoea."
The Health Protection Agency has warned hospitals that it believes the number of Norovirus cases could be set to rise again in the coming weeks. As such, many might be wise to use cleaning products to the maximum in order to stamp out the threat as much as possible.
According to figures from the agency, there has been a 63 per cent hike in Norovirus cases in the UK in the last six months of 2012 and the first week of this year, in comparison with the same time last year. As such, it is well worth being on red alert and eliminating threats to health where possible.