Protect yourself against Norovirus

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Norovirus

Winter Wellbeing — protect yourself against norovirus

Cheshire East Council and its partners are offering a range of advice and support to residents on how to keep warm, well and safe this winter.

There is currently an increase in diarrhoea and vomiting in school-aged children. This is often caused by norovirus. We are advising people on what to do if they catch norovirus and how to prevent the spread of germs.
 
Norovirus is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK and is highly contagious. It is also called the 'winter vomiting bug', because it is more common at this time of year.

You can catch it by touching contaminated surfaces, having close contact with an infected person or by consuming contaminated food or water. Symptoms to look out for are:

  • Feeling sick (nausea);
  • Abdominal cramps;
  • Diarrhoea; and
  • Being sick (vomiting).
  • You may also have:
  • A high temperature of 38C or above and chills;
  • A headache; or
  • Aching arms and legs.

The symptoms start suddenly within one to two days of being infected.

While norovirus can be very unpleasant, it normally clears up by itself in a few days and you don't usually need to get medical advice. However, you should get advice if there's a risk of a more serious problem, such as your symptoms haven't started to improve after a few days or you have a long-term health condition, such as kidney disease.

Any affected children should be kept at home and parents should seek advice from their school or nursery regarding attendance. This is an important control measure which aims to limit the spread of the infection to others.
 
Norovirus can spread to others very easily and there is no specific treatment for it. The advice to residents is to try and avoid going to your GP if you have the bug. Instead, if you are concerned or need any advice, ring your surgery or NHS 111.
 

There are also some simple precautions you can take to help prevent the virus from spreading, including washing your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water — particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food — disinfecting any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated and not sharing towels or flannels.

Dr Matt Tyrer, Cheshire East Council's acting director of public health, said: "It's important to remember that norovirus a virus, which means antibiotics will not help your symptoms. However, there are a few things you can do to lessen the effects.
  
"Advice includes drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, get plenty of rest and, if you feel up to it, eat plain foods, such as soup, rice, pasta and bread."
 
Lots of information and advice about norovirus are available online at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/norovirus

For further winter-related advice, visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/livewell
and scroll down to the winter wellbeing section. Advice can also be found on the council's Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/cheshireeastcouncil
and on Twitter at: @CheshireEast

Residents can help friends and neighbours, who do not have internet access, by downloading and printing off information from the website and giving it to them.