MORE than 70 people have been struck down by a sickness and diarrhoea bug at a Newport hotel.

Newport City Council 's environmental health department and Public Health Wales are investigating how 74 people who visited the Hilton in Langstone became ill with suspected norovirus.

In a statement, Dr Lika Nehaul, consultant in communicable disease control for Public Health Wales said: "23 staff and 51 guests of the Hilton Hotel in Langstone, Newport are known to have become unwell with diarrhoea and vomiting.

"Investigations carried out by Newport City Council’s environmental health team indicate that the illness was consistent with a viral infection passed from person to person, most likely norovirus.

"Control measures have been put in place at the hotel to prevent the spread of infection."

A spokesman for Hilton Worldwide said: "Unfortunately a number of guests and team members at Hilton Newport recently contracted symptoms consistent with norovirus, a virus passed from person to person. "At Hilton Newport the well-being of both guests and team members is of paramount importance and as such, stringent existing health and safety procedures were immediately enacted as soon as we became aware of the reported illness."

The spokesman said the hotel remains in close contact with health and safety officials, who are "satisfied with the measures implemented and no illnesses have been reported at the hotel for over 48 hours."

Hilton Newport remains open for business but concerned guests can contact the hotel on 01633 413737.

Bug lasts 48 hours

Norovirus is the most common cause of stomach bugs in England and Wales. Known as 'winter vomiting disease', it causes nausea up to 48 hours after infection, followed by projectile vomiting and watery diarrhoea.

Some people may also have a fever, headaches and aching limbs.

Symptoms will last for 12 to 60 hours, and people almost always make a full recovery within one to two days.

There is no specific treatment for norovirus but it is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.

Reporting of norovirus is done on a voluntary basis. The Health Protection Agency estimate that norovirus typically affects between 600,000 and a million people in the UK each year.

Prevention includes careful hand-washing, not sharing towels, washing clothing and bed linen on a ‘hot cycle’, and disinfecting toilet seats, flush handles, wash-hand basin taps and toilet door handles after use.

Anyone who has had vomiting or diarrhoea should not return to work or school for 48 hours after their last symptoms, and should contact their GP or NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

More information on norovirus is available at Concerned Hilton guests can contact the hotel on 01633 413737.