HEALTH bosses are urging the public not to attend their local GP or Whipps Cross Hospital if they display symptoms of the 'norovirus' winter vomiting bug.

Officials say there is currently a "higher than normal" number of cases in the borough and are trying to stop the illness spreading.

In recent years Whipps Cross Hospital, in Leytonstone, has had to close several of its wards multiple times due to outbreaks of the vomiting bug.

Dr Gabriel Ivbijaro, of the Wood Street Medical Centre in Walthamstow, said: "This is an unpleasant illness, but the symptoms will usually pass if you stay at home and rest for two to three days.

“If you are suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting, please do not go to your GP or your local A&E department.

"You should stay away from schools and day centres and not visit friends in hospital or care homes as people there are particularly susceptible to picking up the bug.

“If you are suffering from symptoms, you should be extra careful about washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating and after going to the toilet. You shouldn’t be preparing food for others.”

An NHS spokesman added: "If your symptoms become very severe and persistent, call your GP or NHS Direct on 0845 46 47."