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Common winter illnesses: Norovirus

What is Norovirus?

Norovirus, sometimes known as the winter vomiting bug, is the most common stomach bug in the UK. The virus is highly contagious and can affect people of all ages and causes vomiting and diarrhoea.

What to do:

There is no specific cure for norovirus so you have to let it run its cause.  If you have norovirus the following steps may ease your symptoms:

• Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (take small sips if you’re finding it difficult to keep water down because you’re vomiting); If you feel like eating, eat foods that are easy to digest;
• Take paracetamol for any fever or aches and pains;
• Stay at home – don’t go to see your GP because norovirus is contagious and there’s nothing the GP can do while you have it.
• If your symptoms last longer than a few days or if you already have a serious illness contact your GP to seek advice.

How to stop Norovirus spreading:

Norovirus is easy to spread.  If an infected person doesn’t wash their hands before handling food, they can pass the virus to others.

• Wash your hands frequently – you can catch norovirus by touching contaminated surfaces or objects
• Don’t share towels or flannels
• Disinfect surfaces an infected person has touched
• If you have norovirus, you may continue to be infectious for a short period after your symptoms stop. You should therefore avoid preparing food and direct contact with others for at least 48 hours after your symptoms disappear.

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