Norovirus was cause of illness affecting 75 people in east Leeds

The norovirus bug
The norovirus bug
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An illness outbreak in Leeds was caused by norovirus, public health officials have confirmed.

A total of 75 people were affected by the sickness bug last month, which was potentially linked to a restaurant in Garforth.

A spokeswoman for Public Health England, which was investigating with Leeds City Council, said laboratory tests had confirmed the virus was the cause.

“Norovirus is a common stomach bug in the UK which spreads very rapidly in public places. You can catch it very easily either through close contact with someone with norovirus, through touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus – which can survive outside the body for several days – or by eating food which has been contaminated after being touched by someone infected with norovirus.”

She said they were continuing to investigate and the source had not been confirmed.

Customers of Aagrah Garforth had reported falling ill and the chain’s managing director, Mohammed Aslam, said: “Aagrah has been fully compliant throughout this investigation.

“We are relieved to hear the news from PHE and Environmental Officers that the outbreak is linked to norovirus. We’ve worked closely with environmental health agencies to control the spread and were confident about Aagrah’s very tight Health and Safety policy would prevail in clearing Aagrah.”

He added that anyone with symptoms of a stomach bug should avoid public places.

Advice for those affected by a similar illness:

A person with norovirus is most infectious from when their symptoms start until 48 hours after all their symptoms have passed, although they may also be infectious for a short time before and after this.

You can get norovirus more than once because the virus is always changing, so your body is unable to build up long-term resistance to it.

Norovirus can spread to others very easily. It only takes a small amount of the virus to make someone ill and the virus can survive outside the body for several days.

Whilst norovirus can be unpleasant, the symptoms will usually clear up by themselves within a week and most people can look after themselves or others at home.

Try to avoid going to your GP to reduce the risk of spreading norovirus to others – if you’re concerned or need advice, call your GP or NHS 111.

If you are ill, with diarrhoea and vomiting drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and get plenty of rest.

To avoid spreading norovirus to others, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water while you’re ill - and always after going to the toilet and before touching food. Stay off work or school until at least 48 hours after your symptoms have cleared.