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Island Norovirus cases lead to 'stay at home' warning

image captionPatients are advised to drink lots of water and eat easily-digestible food

The Isle of Man's director of health has urged anyone suffering from the symptoms of the winter vomiting bug, Norovirus, to "stay at home".

The department of health has recorded an increase in reported cases of diarrhoea and vomiting, which are the main symptoms.

Dr Parameswaran Kishore said: "Anyone needing medical help should contact their GP by phone and avoid hospital."

In 2011, a ward at Noble's hospital was closed to admissions after an outbreak.

The previous year two wards were closed due to the virus at the Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital.

Over the past fortnight there have been 53 outbreaks of the virus in the UK, leading to numerous ward closures.

'Extremely important'

The bug lasts between 24 and 48 hours and patients are advised to drink lots of water and eat easily-digestible food.

Dr Kishore said: "It is extremely important that people with the bug stay away from hospital wards, schools and care homes to help prevent the spread of the virus. It is best to stay at home".

"We can't send people to another hospital down the road so it is important to prevent it reaching hospital wards."

Even after the symptoms have passed, patients remain infectious for 48 hours, so those suffering are reminded to remain off work during this time.

The department of health has issued advice to people to prevent the spread of infection.

These include avoiding hospitals or old people's homes and washing hands thoroughly , especially after using the toilet and preparing food.

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