Winter vomiting bug Norovirus - what are the symptoms and how does it spread?

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As winter approaches, cases of the winter vomiting bug Norovirus are on the rise.

Here’s a guide on how to spot the symptoms, how to treat the bug and how to reduce your risk of catching the Norovirus.

As winter approaches, cases of the winter vomiting bug Norovirus are on the rise

As winter approaches, cases of the winter vomiting bug Norovirus are on the rise

The NHS website notes that: “Norovirus, also called the "winter vomiting bug", is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be very unpleasant, but usually goes away in about two days.”

What are the symptoms of norovirus

According to the NHS the main symptoms of norovirus are:

-feeling sick (nausea)

-diarrhoea

-being sick (vomiting)

You may also have:

-a high temperature of 38C or above

-a headache

-aching arms and legs

These symptoms start suddenly within one to two days of being infected.

How should I treat norovirus?

You can usually treat yourself or your child at home and you should start to feel better in a day or two, according to the NHS.

To treat diarrhoea and vomiting in adults and children, the NHS advises you to:

-stay at home and get plenty of rest

-drink lots of fluids, such as water and squash – take small sips if you feel sick

-carry on giving breast or bottle feeds to your baby – if they're being sick, try giving small feeds more often than usual

-for babies on formula or solid foods, give small sips of water between feeds

-eat when you feel able to – you don't need to have or avoid any specific foods

-take paracetamol if you're in discomfort – check the leaflet before giving them to your child


Those infected with the winter vomiting bug are advised to stay off school or work until the symptoms have stopped for two days and avoid visiting anyone in hospital during this time, as this is when you're most infectious.


How norovirus is spread

Norovirus can spread very easily. You can catch norovirus from:

-close contact with someone with norovirus

-touching surfaces or objects that have been touched by someone with norovirus

-eating food that has been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus

The NHS notes, “Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is the best way to stop it spreading. Alcohol hand gels don't kill norovirus.”

For more information about the winter vomiting bug visit the NHS website.