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Public Health Wales is reminding local people of important steps to take as norovirus is known to be circulating in the community in North Wales.

The reminder comes as a number of wards at Wrexham Maelor, Chirk Community and Mold Community Hospitals are closed or partially closed to admissions due to outbreaks of norovirus.

Image/CDC

Image/CDC

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has issued advice to visitors, patients and staff about the best ways to limit the spread of norovirus but, due to the nature and seasonality of the disease, Public Health Wales is also advising people in North Wales how to avoid catching and spreading norovirus.

Dr Graham Brown, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales (based in Flintshire), said: “Norovirus used to be known as the ‘winter vomiting disease’ and it is the most common cause of stomach bugs in the UK.

“Norovirus can be easily passed from person to person so it is quite common for there to be outbreaks in institutions like hospitals, schools, residential and nursing homes, and hotels – especially when it is already circulating in the community.

“Norovirus is not a notifiable disease so not every case is reported to Public Health Wales. However, we are notified of large outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness – of which norovirus is the leading culprit. Research estimates that norovirus typically affects between 600,000 and a million people in the UK each year.”

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