DISTRICT health chiefs are urging people with symptoms of norovirus – also known as the winter vomiting bug – not to visit hospitals or care homes.

The plea follows a surge in cases across the Bradford district and Craven.

Anyone showing signs of norovirus, which is highly contagious, is asked to stay at home and be extra vigilant in terms of hygiene.

Symptoms of the illness include a sudden onset of nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pains or cramps, headaches, aching arms and legs, tiredness and a high temperature.

Although unpleasant, norovirus is not usually dangerous for people in general good health – most of those affected make a full recovery within a couple of days without having to see their GP.

Jill Asbury, director of nursing at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are asking people with any of the symptoms of norovirus to avoid going into hospitals and nursing and care homes to visit friends or relatives.

“If a vulnerable patient contracts norovirus it could have potentially serious health implications.

“You are doing the right thing for patients by staying away until 48 hours after any norovirus symptoms disappear.”

To reduce chances of catching or spreading the virus, people are advised to wash their hands regularly, avoid sharing towels and ensure surfaces touched by an infected person are disinfected.