Nororvirus can be caught at any time of year but it appears more common in winter.
It’s one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK, causing diarrhoea and vomiting, and while it usually clears up by itself in a few days, symptoms can be unpleasant.
Symptoms appear one to two days after you’ve become infected, and usually last for up to two or three days.
It’s an extremely infectious bug, common in places such as hotels, hospitals, nursing homes and schools.
So what are the symptoms to look out for, how is it best to treat it and how can you prevent it.
According to the NHS, symptoms of norovirus include:
- Suddenly feeling sick
- Projectile vomiting
- Watery diarrhoea
Some people also have a slight fever, headaches, painful stomach cramps and aching limbs.
How is it best to treat norovirus?
The health body’s top tip is when people are ill with vomiting and diarrhoea, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
Oral rehydration fluids, available from pharmacies, can also reduce the risk of dehydration.
It’s also recommended you take paracetamol for any fever or aches and pains, get plenty of rest and eat plain foods such as soup, rice, pasta and bread.
How can norovirus be prevented?
While it’s difficult to avoid getting norovirus, there are ways you can stop the virus spreading.
Staying off work or school until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have passed is advised.
Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, particularly after using the toilet, it also recommended.
You should also disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated – a bleach-based household cleaner is best for this.
Other illnesses and ailments common during cold weather include influenza.