The Norovirus is highly contagious and can tear through classrooms, offices and other crowded spaces, leaving vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps in in its wake. The virus spreads through food and drink and can have a big impact on one’s health. Worldwide, noroviruses are thought to be the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis.
Outbreaks of the virus have been reported up and down England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with the most recent outbreak being in West Cumberland Hospital.
The symptoms tend to start suddenly within one to two days of being infected and include nausea, diarrhoea and being sick.
Boots pharmacist, Janky Raja shares some key information to help speed up the recovery process.
Avoid those germs
Janky advises: “Anyone can come down with norovirus and whilst you can catch it all year around, it is much more common during the winter months.
“The virus is spread through close contact with someone who has the illness, touching surfaces contaminated with the bug or eating contaminated food.
“As it’s highly contagious, it’s important to practice good hygiene habits by thoroughly washing your hands with soap and warm water.”
Keep an eye out for the symptoms
“The symptoms of norovirus usually come on very quickly and include; suddenly feeling sick, projectile vomiting, watery diarrhoea, stomach cramps, a slight fever, headaches and aching limbs,” says Janky.
Steps to recovery
“Manage your symptoms by staying hydrated and drinking small, frequent sips of water.
“If you’re suffering from diarrhoea, you can also buy rehydrations solutions from a pharmacy like Boots – these are powders which you can add to after to make up a solution containing the right balance of sugars and salts to help ensure you stay hydrated.
“The virus is usually relatively short-lived with symptoms lasting a few days but make sure you don’t return to work or send your children back to school until they’ve been symptoms free for two days,” added Janky.
When to seek help
Janky concluded: “If you think you are becoming severely dehydrated or need medical advice, call NHS 111 or speak to your GP by phone.
“Be especially careful with children, or those with existing medical conditions like diabetes, who are ill as they are at greater risk of becoming dehydrated.”