Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge Hospitals have steered clear of the orovirus infection that is sweeping parts of the UK – thanks to the introduction of stringent hygiene measures.

More than 750,000 people in the UK could be affected by the bug the Health Protection Agency have conceded.

The agency says that 2,630 cases have been confirmed so far this season and for every reported case there are likely to be a further 288 unreported sufferers.

Norovirus symptoms include a sudden onset of vomiting and/or diarrhoea. Some people may have a temperature, headache and stomach cramps. The illness usually resolves in one or two days and there are no long-term effects.

Wirral NHS has praised the public for their continuing support in keeping local hospitals Norovirus free.

Tina Lang, director of nursing and midwifery said: We have introduced a number of practices for containing the virus if patients are affected; but we have also focussed on keeping the bug out of our hospitals.

“Our infection prevention and control team have done a great deal of work to inform and educate visitors and patients on the part they can play in preventing the spread of the virus.

“This has included greeting visitors as they come in to out hospitals and discussing with them the importance of hand washing and how other simple steps can help reduce the transmission of the virus.

“We have also held awareness events in a local supermarket. Clearly this is having a positive effect.”

Gill Harris, chief nurse NHS North of England, said: “It is vital that people help us by being aware of the risks and taking action to prevent the spread of the virus.

“There are simple things people can do – the main one being not to visit hospital if you have been sick or had diarrhoea within the last 48 hours.

“We also ask people not to bring children after 12 or younger into hospital as they often pick up these bugs at school without realising it.”

She advised sufferers to stay at home as the infection was self-limiting and they would recover naturally without treatment.

She said they should also take plenty of fluids, wash their hands regularly and keep away from other people – and especially stay away from GP surgeries and hospitals.

If symptoms persist for more than two days people should seek advice from NHS Direct at or call 0845 4647.