Norovirus outbreak at Northumberland hopsital
Visiting restrictions have been put in place at Wansbeck General Hospital after 180 people contracted the winter vomiting bug Google Streetview

A Northumberland hospital has imposed strict visiting restrictions after at least 180 people have been struck by an outbreak of norovirus.

The outbreak of the winter vomiting bug occured after a visitor brought mussels into Wansbeck General Hospital in Ashington, for an inpatient.

180 people contracted the illness from the mussels prompting the NHS to restrict visitors across all wards until 22 December, except those visiting patients receiving end of life care.

On 23 December, the Northumbria Trust will allow visitors between 2pm and 3pm, to unaffected wards, but warned this was subject to change, Sky News reports.

Shellfish can harbour the norovirus bug which causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting which lasts a few days, but can in some people lead to detrimental chronic infections.

In the UK, outbreaks of norovirus in hospitals have this year been lower than previous years.