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What you need to know about norovirus

What you need to know about norovirus

Norovirus, commonly known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’ is a highly contagious stomach bug which spreads viciously around schools, hospitals and the workplace. You’re most likely to get the winter vomiting bug in November through to April as these are the colder months.

How do you catch norovirus?

Norovirus is very easy to catch and it can be passed on from contaminated food, drink or surfaces including door handles. If infected particles are ingested, symptoms can appear very quickly.

What are the symptoms?

Norovirus is very unpleasant and uncomfortable, the main symptoms are vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea. Other symptoms may include body aches, headache or fever.

How long does it last?

Luckily, norovirus is a short-lived illness and usually goes away in 1-2 days. If you are feeling unwell and experiencing any of these symptoms, stay off school or work until 48 hours after your last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting. Don’t come into contact with anyone and definitely don’t visit anyone in the hospital, in their home or other public spaces.

Can I avoid it?

Your best chances of reducing your risk of contracting norovirus are to make sure you’re consistent with hand washing. Always make sure you thoroughly wash your hands with soap and hot water and dry them properly. Hand sanitizer does not kill norovirus, so always make sure you wash your hands properly, especially after going to the toilet, before preparing and eating food.

Always disinfect surfaces in your house if a family member has norovirus, for example, kitchen surfaces, door handles and taps. If you have the virus and you’re the one who cooks dinner, avoid preparing food until your symptoms have gone.

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