Norovirus latest update: NHS just issued urgent advice to stop spread winter vomiting bug

Hospitals in England have closed more than 1,100 beds due to a widespread outbreak of norovirus. This is double the number from last year and according to national data analysed by Public Health England (PHE) the number of positive tests for the notorious winter vomiting bug between November 11 and 24 was 28 percent higher than the five-year average for the same period.

Norovirus can spread very easily and can be caught 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 norovirus


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NHS advise to stop spread norovirus

The NHS advises treating norovirus yourself or your child at home.

You should start feeling better in two to three days, but stay off school or work until the symptoms have stopped for 48 hours.

The NHS says this period is when you’re most infectious.

The NHS said: “Top medics are concerned about the spread of the winter vomiting bug this year and the impact it is having on hospitals and other services.

“They are therefore urging those who catch the virus not to go back to work or school until at least 48 hours after symptoms pass, to avoid passing it on to others.”

Professor Stephen Powis, the NHS medical director, told The Times: “We’ve already seen a number of hospitals and schools affected by norovirus, and unfortunately instances like these are likely to rise over the coming weeks.

“It’s a really unpleasant illness to catch, but for the vast majority of people it will usually pass in a couple of days, and self-treating at home is the best way to help yourself and avoid putting others at risk.

“Crucially, if you’re experiencing norovirus symptoms it’s important that you don’t return to work or school for 48 hours after they clear and avoid visiting elderly or ill friends and relatives to avoid spreading it to other people.”

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To help avoid spreading an infection:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently
  • Wash any clothing or bedding that has poo or vomit on it separately on a hot wash
  • Clean toilet seats, flush handles, taps, surfaces and door handles every day

How to spot signs of norovirus

  • The main symptoms of norovirus are typically:
  • Suddenly feeling sick
  • Projectile vomiting
  • Watery diarrhoea

You may also have:

  • A high temperature of 38C or above
  • A headache
  • Aching arms and legs

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