Don’t call 999 for Norovirus

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PATIENTS who think they may have the winter vominting bug are being urged to contact their pharmacy.

Norovirus sufferers, or those who have the flu, are being asked to avoid hospital or their GP surgery for fear they will spread the bug.

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS), which covers Milton Keynes, has asked people to instead visit their pharmacy or ring NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

Norovirus is highly infectious and the Trust is urging people suffering gastrointestinal symnptoms, vomiting or diarrhoea to avoid spreading it.

SCAS infection control lead, Phil Convery, said: “Almost 900,000 people in England have been infected with Norovirus this winter – almost twice as many as were infected by mid-December last year.

“This winter is the worst start to the Norovirus season on record with more than 5,000 NHS workers reportedly calling in sick every day with the bug.

“We are urging people with flu or Norovirus not to call 999, unless they are suffering a life-threatening medical emergency, so that valuable resources remain available to respond to genuinely life threatening medical emergencies over the Christmas and New Year period.”