NOROVIRUS, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK.
It’s also called the ‘winter vomiting bug’ because it’s more common in winter, although you can catch it at any time of the year. Just be careful that you don’t catch it from people visiting from the UK.
Norovirus can be very unpleasant but it usually clears up by itself in a few days.
However, you should try to avoid going to your doctor if you have any of the symptoms, as norovirus can spread to others very easily.
You’re likely to have norovirus if you experience suddenly feeling sick; projectile vomiting; and watery diarrhoea. Some people also have a slight fever, headaches, painful stomach cramps and aching limbs.
The symptoms normally appear one to two days after you become infected and typically last for up to two or three days.
If you experience sudden diarrhoea and vomiting, the best thing to do is to stay at home until you’re feeling better. There’s no cure for norovirus, so you have to let it run its course.
Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. You need to drink more than usual to replace the fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea – as well as water, adults could also try fruit juice and soup. Avoid giving fizzy drinks or fruit juice to children as it can make their diarrhoea worse. Babies should continue to feed as usual, either with breast milk or other milk feeds. Take paracetamol for any fever or aches and pains, and get plenty of rest.
Norovirus can spread very easily, so you should wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food. Don’t rely on alcohol hand gels, as they do not kill the virus.