UK says norovirus cases sharply rise in England

Feb 9 (Reuters) - Norovirus cases in England are 66% higher than the average at this time of year, official data showed on Thursday, with the biggest rise in confirmed infections seen in those aged 65 years and over.

Outbreaks caused by the vomiting and diarrhoea-causing norovirus have surged in hospitals, schools and care homes, with majority of cases in care home settings, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said.

The UKHSA added that while elevated levels were expected in those aged 65 years and over, the number has not been seen in over a decade.

"The number of people in hospitals with norovirus has risen significantly in line with what we are seeing in the community and in care homes," NHS Medical Director Professor Sir Stephen Powis said.

Powis added for the vast majority of people the infection will usually pass in a couple of days, and self-treating at home is the best way to avoid putting others at risk.

Reporting by Amna Karimi in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Sriraj Kalluvila

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