Norovirus: NHS warns that this bug is infecting swathes of Brits in 2023

The NHS warns that in 2023 Norovirus, also known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’, is infecting more people. Everything you should know about the surge and how to keep safe.

Norovirus NHS warning
© gorodenkoff / GETTY IMAGES
Norovirus NHS warning

The NHS issued a warning on 30 November 2023 informing people in England that Norovirus is more virulent this year.

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This ‘winter vomiting bug’ is very common but it appears that this year it is infecting even more victims. SkyNews reports that in the week of 20 November over 300 adults were hospitalised because of it.

Moreover, Norovirus is not the only virus the NHS is worried about for this winter. Indeed, the flu is also impacting more people. The NHS is therefore overwhelmed entering the month of December.

The NHS’ warning

SkyNews reports that Norovirus has already taken many people to the hospital. Indeed, even though patients supposedly get better after a couple of days, the virus can lead to serious dehydration.

At the very end of November 2023, ‘an average of 351 adult hospital beds’ were taken by people showing Norovirus symptoms. However, though this virus is seasonal, what worries the NHS is the significant increase of cases between 2022 and 2023.

SkyNews explains:

It's nearly three times the average of 126 for the same week in 2022.

Moreover, Norovirus is particularly hard on children and elderly people who are most at risk of not consuming enough fluids. In the week of 20 November, ‘an average of 13 children with the virus were in hospital each day’. That is 10 more than in 2022.


According to the NHS, Norovirus is a ‘stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea.’ Though it can be very inconvenient and uncomfortable, the NHS reports that this bug usually goes away after 2 days.

The main symptoms are ‘nausea, diarrhoea’ and ‘vomiting’. However, there are other symptoms such as ‘a high temperature, headache’ and ‘aching arms and legs’.

The NHS also specifies that Norovirus is easily transmissible. They write:

'You can catch norovirus from:

  • close contact with someone with norovirus
  • touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them, then touching your mouth
  • eating food that's been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus'

As with most viruses, the best way to avoid it is to regularly wash your hands with soap. Also, the NHS specifies that ‘alcohol hand gels do not kill norovirus.’

Read more:

What is the winter vomiting bug and should we be worried?

Norovirus: Most common symptoms of the winter vomiting bug

NHS doctor's top secret to falling asleep revealed


SkyNews: Norovirus: Winter vomiting bug cases far higher this year, warns NHS


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