Stay safe and stop the spread of Norovirus

People in the Black Country are being reminded of the simple actions that they can take to reduce the spread of Norovirus this winter.

Norovirus is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be very unpleasant, but symptoms usually go away within a few days.

Symptoms of Norovirus start suddenly within one to two days of being infected and includes nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting and a high temperature. The virus can be transmitted easily from person to person and is usually spread through close contact with someone with Norovirus, contact with contaminated surfaces or objects or by eating food that’s been prepared or handled by someone with Norovirus. Dr Ananta Dave, Chief Medical Officer for the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board, said:

“Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug, is one of the most common causes of sickness and diarrhoea. It’s extremely common, especially during winter, and easily spreads from person to person.

“As with COVID-19 and other infectious illnesses, hand washing is really important to help stop the spread of this bug. Work up a good lather with soap and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. It’s also important to remember that alcohol-based hand gels don't kill the virus.

“If you can, try to avoid contact with anyone who has recently had vomiting or diarrhoea. If you are exposed to a sick person, wash your hands immediately and if you’re caring for someone with Norovirus, wash your hands every time you come into contact with them.

“If you live with someone who has Norovirus, avoid using the same towels, cups, and cutlery, and make sure you disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated with the virus.

“There is no specific treatment for Norovirus, but you can take steps to ease your symptoms. Most people will make a full recovery fairly quickly, but it is important to drink plenty of fluids during that time to prevent dehydration, especially in the very young and elderly.

“If you experience sudden diarrhoea or vomiting, the best thing to do is to stay at home until you’re feeling better. Please avoid visiting elderly or vulnerable relatives if you are unwell, particularly if they are in a care home or hospital.

“Once you've been symptom-free for at least 48 hours, you're safe to return to work, school or visit hospitals and care homes.”

For more information on Norovirus please visit the NHS website.


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