What is Norovirus?

During the autumn and winter it is common for local communities to be affected by an illness called Norovirus, also known as ‘Winter Vomiting Virus’. It affects 600,000 to one million people very year.

This virus can show itself through vomiting, diarrhoea, mild fever, aches and associated flu-like symptoms. For most fit and healthy people it is a very short illness and no medical assistance will be needed.  However, it can be much more severe if people are already frail, unwell or have other medical conditions.  The virus is easily spread whilst you are symptomatic AND for 48 hours after you have recovered - and it's this that leads to outbreaks in schools, care homes and hospitals. 

Outbreaks typically occur in the winter months and can place an enormous strain on NHS resources. There are some simple steps you can take to minimise its spread if you begin to display symptoms:

  • Do not visit communal areas or go to work. These include  hospitals, GPs and care homes, schools, football matches, cinema, libraries, whilst you have symptoms and for 48 hours after your symptoms have gone  
  • If your child begins to show symptoms then DO NOT send them to school or any out of school classes/activities until 48 hours after their symptoms have gone 
  • Isolate yourself at home, make sure you try and keep hydrated by sipping water; and thoroughly clean surface areas (kitchen, bathroom, door handles, etc…) 
  • If symptoms persist for more than 72 hours then telephone (DO NOT VISIT) your GP and seek further medical advice. DO NOT return to work until you have been symptom free for at least 48 hours.