Lothians hit worst by norovirus

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HOSPITALS in the Lothians had Scotland’s highest incidence of the potentially fatal norovirus in the run-up to Christmas, new NHS figures show.

The data revealed that 57 staff and patients in four hospitals were suffering from the virus – which can cause severe vomiting and diarrhoea – on Christmas Eve.

Across Scotland, 194 patients and 67 hospital staff had the illness – resulting in the closure of 25 wards.

Dr Evonne Curran, of the NHS’s Infection Control Team, said the virus is unpredictable. She said: “There is so much of it in the community, we are challenged all the time.

“It changes its shape and presents itself differently.”

The new figures came as experts also revealed the number of people struck down by norovirus across Scotland had risen by half, with almost 200 people in hospital at Christmas.