Norovirus cases are rising due to people mixing more and the UK Health Security Agency has warned that “unusual or out of season increases” are likely in the coming months and that people should stay at home and avoid elderly relatives.
The vomiting bug is highly infectious and can be transmitted through contact with infected people and contaminated surfaces.
Lesley Larkin, surveillance lead, Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety; UK Health Security Agency said: “As pandemic restrictions were lifted and now people have begun to mix more, the outbreaks have started to increase.
Symptoms include sudden onset of nausea, projectile vomiting and diarrhoea but can also include a high temperature; abdominal pain and aching limbs.
Stay at home if you are experiencing norovirus symptoms and do not return to work or send children to school or nursery until 48 hours; after symptoms have cleared.
“If you catch this bug, it is important to drink water to avoid dehydration and do not to visit elderly relatives; especially in care homes or hospital while unwell.
Hand washing is key to help stop the spread of this bug; but unlike for Covid-19 alcohol hand sanitisers do not kill off norovirus, so soap and warm water is best.”
Norovirus has been dubbed the “winter vomiting bug” and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
Symptoms can vary but are likely to go away in two days.
The NHS website warns: “Norovirus can spread very easily. You can catch norovirus from:
- close contact with someone with norovirus
- touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them, then touching your mouth
- eating food that’s been prepared or handled by someone with the bug
“Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is the best way to stop it spreading. Alcohol hand gels do not kill norovirus.”