Norovirus – “the winter vomiting bug” – isn’t just confined to the winter months.
It’s possible to get this stomach bug, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea, all year round – and it’s highly contagious. It spreads quickly and easily in close environments such as workplaces, schools and public transport.
Symptoms start suddenly within a couple of days of being infected and include:
• Stomach cramps
• High Temperature
• Aching arms and legs
Although unpleasant, Norovirus normally clears up in a couple of days and you would not normally need to visit your GP. However, doctors advise that you:
• Stay home
• Drink plenty of fluid to stay hydrated
• Avoid fruit juice and fizzy drinks
• Take paracetamol if you have a high temperature
• Ensure all surfaces are cleaned thoroughly and wash your hands regularly
Ideally you should avoid contact, particularly with vulnerable people, for at least 48 hours after your symptoms have cleared. Avoid visiting care settings such as hospitals or care homes as you could infect many vulnerable people.
How norovirus is spread
You can catch norovirus from:
• close contact with someone with norovirus
• touching surfaces or objects with the virus on them, then touching your mouth
• eating food that’s been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus
Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is the best way to stop it spreading. Alcohol hand gels don’t kill norovirus.
Watch this short video for top tips on reducing the risk of spreading the virus: