Norovirus Outbreak Reported In UK: Know The Symptoms Of This Infection

Know norovirus symptoms and severity of cases as an outbreak of this "winter vomiting bug" is reported in the United Kingdom.

Tanvi Akhauri
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Norovirus symptoms: Even as the world grapples with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, reports are surfacing from the United Kingdom of a norovirus outbreak. Understood to be a highly contagious infection, health authorities in the UK have issued a warning following a reported rise in norovirus cases.


As per a press release by the Public Health England (PHE) published July 16, routine surveillance showed outbreaks caused by norovirus have "increased in recent weeks," between May and July. With 154 outbreaks in only five weeks contrasted with 53 cases in recent years during the same time period, norovirus cases reported are appearing to be at a five-year high in the UK.

Outbreaks have hit educational institutions most, in nurseries and other childcare facilities in particular, according to PHE. Numbers were reportedly lower than usual in the UK owing to restriction of public movement and COVID-19 social distancing norms but are ticking upward as the country eases its curbs.

What Are Norovirus Symptoms? Here's What Health Authorities Say

The UK's National Health Service (NHS) calls norovirus the "winter vomiting bug" that shows symptoms of sickness for approximately two days before disappearing. Its symptoms are listed as follows:

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • fever
  • headache and/or body ache

How does norovirus spread? The contagious 'stomach bug' infects human beings through contaminated consumables and surfaces and touch and other direct contact with infected persons. It is commonly a carrier of foodborne illnesses and is present throughout the year.


As per studies published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in the United States, norovirus, which belongs to the Caliciviridae virus family, is closely linked to cases of acute viral gastroenteritis. The virus accounts for 90 percent of acute viral gastroenteritis outbreaks, whose cases in the US lead to 570-800 deaths annually.

Research however describes norovirus as a "self-limiting" virus with patients recovering in as quickly as 72 hours.

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