This article was taken from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/14/surge-norovirus-cases-senior-doctors-warn-carnage-wards/
The number of people seeking hospital treatment for the winter vomiting bug has risen by almost 70 per cent in just one week.
The NHS figures reveal 1,336 hospital beds have been taken by people suffering from norovirus, a sharp rise from the 790 the previous week.
The surge comes amid warnings from senior doctors of “carnage” in Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments as winter bites.
Latest figures show 25 A&E departments turning away patients in the week just ended, compared with 11 the week before.
Meanwhile the number of ambulances delayed for at least an hour has risen by 27 per cent in a week.
Experts said the spike in cases of norovirus was adding to pressures on beds, with average bed occupancy levels now at 94.6 per cent – far above recommended rates of 85 per cent.
And monthly figures for November show A&E waiting times the worst they have been since February.
Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said hospitals were “imploding” with “carnage on the ground” as cold weather bites.
“When we talk about the NHS at the moment, all we can say and see is pressure, pressure and more pressure – the system is on a knife-edge,” he said.
Norovirus, commonly known as the winter vomiting bug, is highly contagious and can quickly spread through schools and offices.Symptoms can also include a slight fever, headaches, painful stomach cramps and aches and pains.
Doctors advise sufferers to stay at home and get plenty of rest.
The latest figures only cover those admitted to hospital – a small proportion of overall cases, used to track likely levels of infection across the population.
While 69 hospitals have recorded outbreaks so far this winter, overall, lab reports suggest rates remain lower than the five year average for this time of year.