Toilet trouble for Doncaster as diarrhoea figures soar in borough

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Doncaster has been a hotspot for diarrhoea in the past week, according to a surveillance system designed to spot early signs of infectious disease outbreaks.

Doctors in the area reported seeing 48 patients with diarrhoea during the week to November 8.

Public Health England monitors levels of cases through its GP surgery symptoms tracker.

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It shows cases increased in the borough over the latest week, up 26 per cent on the week before.

Doncaster has seen a rise in cases of diarrhoeaDoncaster has seen a rise in cases of diarrhoea
Doncaster has seen a rise in cases of diarrhoea
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The problem was more common in the area than almost any other council in Yorkshire and the Humber, with 26.4 cases per 100,000 people compared to a regional average of 19.6.

The figure per 100,000 people is based on the number of patients on the lists of the GP practices which responded to the survey.

When compared to the England average, the number of diarrhoea cases seen in Doncaster was 31 per cent higher than would be expected.

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There are numerous causes of diarrhoea including viruses, bacterial infections, and even parasites.

Diarrhoea can be a symptom of norovirus, known as the winter vomiting bug, a highly contagious stomach virus which runs rampant in the colder months.

It is one of the many viruses which cause gastroenteritis – an infection of the gastrointestinal tract that leads to diarrhoea and vomiting. Both gastroenteritis and vomiting are tracked separately in the surveillance system.

In Doncaster, doctors saw 10 cases of vomiting per 100,000 people in the latest week – 19 per cent higher than the England average.

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For gastroenteritis, there were 37.4 cases per 100,000, 25 per cent above the national rate.

The NHS advises people with diarrhoea or vomiting to stay home and get plenty of rest, drink lots of liquids and seek help from a pharmacist if you show signs of dehydration.

The council areas in Yorkshire and Humber ranked from highest to lowest diarrhoea prevalence last week are:

> East Riding of Yorkshire 48.2 cases/100,000

> North East Lincolnshire 40

> York 31.5

> Doncaster 26.4

> Rotherham 26

> Calderdale 22.9

> Barnsley 22.4

> North Lincolnshire 21

> Kirklees 18.5

> Kingston upon Hull, City of 16

> Leeds 15.8

> Wakefield 13

> Sheffield 10.9

> Bradford 8.9

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.