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Diarrhoea & Vomiting Illness on the Isle of Man 22 September 2006

There is an outbreak of an illness characterised by diarrhoea and vomiting on the Island. Several people have attended Accident and Emergency at Noble’s and contacted the Emergency Services.

Although laboratory confirmation of the cause has not been obtained, based on the symptoms, it appears to be a type of viral gastroenteritis, most probably caused by Noro Virus (Winter Vomiting virus).

Outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting caused by Noro Virus is particularly common in Autumn and Winter. The virus is highly infectious and about 50% of people who come into contact with it develop the symptoms. The symptoms start within 12-24 hours and consist of vomiting and diarrhoea. The symptoms usually last for 2-3 days.

Advice to the Public who may have Diarrhoea and/or vomiting

  1. Please DO NOT attend Accident and Emergency for diarrhoea and vomiting. There is no specific treatment and there is a high risk that you may spread the disease. Please stay at home and drink plenty of fluids.
  2. The symptoms should resolve in 2-3 days; if they do not OR if you are concerned, please seek help. We would advice you to phone your Doctor’s surgery rather than visit the surgery as you are likely to spread the infection.
  3. Please do not visit hospitals or nursing homes (the virus can spread rapidly in such settings) for at least 48 hours after the symptoms are over.
  4. Please do not return to work for 48 hours after the symptoms are under control.
  5. Ensure hygiene practice at home such as scrupulous washing of hands, thorough cleaning of vomiting using diluted bleach, cleaning of contaminated surfaces etc.

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