BRITS have been urged to protect themselves against norovirus after cases are twice as high as this time last year.

Infections are 37 per cent higher than the five-season average and have surpassed pre Covid levels, new data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows.

The chart above shows norovirus cases from the start of 2021 to the last week Credit: UKHSA

The majority of cases have been seen in those over the age of 65 and those living in care homes.

Norovirus, also commonly referred to as the winter vomiting bug, is a stomach complaint that causes vomiting and diarrhoea.

In most cases, you will suddenly become ill, with symptoms often lasting up to three days, according to the NHS.

The 6 signs you have the bug

The symptoms of norovirus come on suddenly and the NHS states the main signs are:

  1. feeling sick (nausea)
  2. diarrhoea
  3. being sick (vomiting)
  4. you may also have a high temperature
  5. a headache
  6. aching arms and legs

The symptoms start suddenly within one to two days of being infected, guidance states.

If you have the illness, the best thing to do it rest and have lots of fluids to avoid dehydration.

You’ll start to feel better in two to three days.

Norovirus is spread very easily and you can catch it if you’ve had close contact with someone who has had the bug.

You might also be unwell if you have touched surfaces or objects that have the virus on them, and then you’ve touched your mouth.

Eating foods that have been prepared or handled by someone with the bug also raises your risk of catching it.

If you or your child’s symptoms get worse and you’ve been ill for more than seven days you should call 111.

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