New figures released by the Department of Health in England show that the average number of closed beds per day due to norovirus-type symptoms have more than doubled in space of a week.
According to the figures, the number of closed beds rose from 720 on December 11 to more than 1,500 beds on December 18.
Health officials revealed that the beds were closed due to norovirus type symptoms such as diarrhoea and vomiting and added that they wanted to prevent it from spreading.
In spite of the sudden spike in the number of cases, a Department of Health spokesman said that the levels of infection were within the expected levels. "The levels of norovirus seen this week are well within expected levels for this time of year. If you are concerned and have symptoms consistent with norovirus you should call NHS Direct or the local GP practice for advice", the spokesman said.