As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the UK had recently relaxed most restrictions. Dubbed as Freedom Day by the British government as well as many citizens, it saw almost all legal restrictions on social contact being removed. But as some rejoice and others vow to stay homebound for some time yet, COVID-19 has become only one of virus-related crises that the country is facing.
According to reports, the UK is now facing a norovirus outbreak. The surge in cases (over 150 since the end of May) has also prompted Public Health England (PHE) to issue a warning. R
In the five weeks since the end of May, 154 cases of norovirus have been recorded in England, according to PHE. The health body said that this is is a three-fold increase in cases over the same time period during the previous five years. Reportedly, the rise is particularly notable in education facilities including nursery and childcare facilities.
Norovirus is a frequent cause of outbreaks of gastroenteritis in NHS hospitals. "Norovirus is highly infectious and causes vomiting and diarrhoea but usually passes in a couple of days. It is easily transmitted through contact with infected individuals or contaminated surfaces," an update on the UK government website explains.
Commonly known as the winter vomiting bug, symptoms include sudden onset of nausea, projectile vomiting and diarrhoea but can also include a high temperature, abdominal pain and aching limbs.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson had earlier emphasized the need to remain cautious as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. The detailed arrangement of the final step out of lockdown includes: no more limits on social contact to allow people to gather in groups of any size; removal of the "one meter-plus" rule in almost all settings, except for specific places such as airports; no capacity caps on large scale events; and people are no longer required to work from home, among other changes. Face coverings will be recommended in some spaces, but not required by law.
The PM had also called for all adults who have not yet received their first or second vaccine dose to come forward and have the jabs.