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Help stop the spread of norovirus aka winter vomiting bug

The public is being asked to help reduce the spread of norovirus, sometimes called winter vomiting illness, after a number of cases of the norovirus infection, the most common cause of gastro-enteritis in England and Wales, were identified.

Norovirus can cause a very unpleasant but generally short-lived illness, from which people will usually recover without treatment. The main symptom is vomiting, sometimes accompanied by diarrhoea, and some people may have a raised temperature and experience headaches and aching limbs.

It is estimated that norovirus affects between 600,000 and one million people in the United Kingdom every year. Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment and the illness just has to run its course. Thankfully, most people will make a full recovery within one to two days.

Friends and family of those in hospital are asked to not visit patients in hospital until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours to avoid spreading infection.

General advice for patients who think they have norovirus or winter vomiting includes:

· Stay at home and take plenty of fluids;

· If symptoms persist, ask for a telephone consultation with your family doctor. Try to avoid visiting your GP surgery or local A&E as you may pass the infection on to others;

· Wash hands thoroughly and regularly at all times but particularly after using the toilet and before eating;

· Do not visit friends or relatives in hospitals or residential care homes until you have fully recovered and have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours to avoid putting vulnerable people at risk;

· Stay away from work or school until you have fully recovered and have been free of symptoms for 48 hours;

· Do not handle or prepare food for other people until you have been free of symptoms for at least 48 hours.

For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/norovirus/



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