There were 105 outbreaks of norovirus in England in the first four months of this year, according to official figures form Public Health England (PHE).
The Hospital Norovirus Outbreak Reporting Scheme recorded 105 outbreaks between week 1 (week beginning 31 December 2018) and week 17 (week beginning 29 April 2019). Ninety-seven per cent (n=102) of reported outbreaks resulted in ward/bay closures or restrictions to admissions.
Between weeks 14 and 17, 2019, there were 17 outbreaks, all of which led to ward/bay closures or restriction to admissions and 10 of which (59%) were laboratory-confirmed norovirus.
The figures show that from week 1, 2018 to week 17, 2019 there were 5340 laboratory reports of norovirus. This is comparable to the average number of laboratory reports for the same period in the five years between 2014 and 2018 (5619).
The North West and South East had the highest number of confirmed outbreaks, with 18 and 20, respectively, from week 1 to week 17. The outbreaks led to 22 ward/bay closers in each trust, although not all outbreaks resulted in whole ward closures; some closures are restricted to bays only.