Norovirus, sometimes known as the ‘winter vomiting disease’ because it usually occurs during the winter months, has come a little early this year and has already hit Pennine Lancashire. The virus is highly contagious and the typical symptoms are vomiting and diarrhoea.
Sickness and diarrhoea can be distressing and affects people of all ages. You can also feel unwell with a temperature, headache, aching limbs and stomach cramps. It can be very unpleasant while you have and symptoms which usually last anywhere between a few hours to a couple of days. People suffering will feel very unwell initially but will usually improve quickly as the symptoms settle.
Dr David White, Clinical Lead for Urgent Care at NHS East Lancashire and NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups, said:
“If someone suspects they have Norovirus they should ensure they do not visit hospitals, schools or care homes to reduce the risk of them passing it on to others. They should also avoid work, only returning after they have been free of diarrhoea and vomiting for at least 48 hours as during this time infectious viruses may still be present.
“Good hygiene is particularly important in preventing yourself or others from becoming infected. People should ensure that they thoroughly wash their hands after using the toilet, and ensure that any contaminated surfaces are thoroughly disinfected after an episode of illness. Food preparation should also be avoided until three days after symptoms have disappeared.
“Unfortunately there is no specific treatment for Norovirus apart from letting the illness run its course; therefore it is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration especially in the very young or elderly”.
People suffering do not usually need to consult their GP. Further information and advice is available from NHS 111, including an online symptom checker at nhs.uk.
For more information please visit: www.nhs.uk