What is winter vomiting virus?Also known as Norovirus, winter vomiting is a highly contagious stomach bug that is the most common cause of gastroenteritis.
What are the symptoms of winter vomiting virus?A sudden feeling of nausea followed by projectile vomiting and a watery diarrhoea are the main norovirus symptoms. Some people might also have a high temperature, headaches and aching limbs. The symptoms usually start one to two days after being infected with the vomiting bug, but they can start 12 hours after.
How long does norovirus last?The symptoms of norovirus can last from 12 - 60 hours, but most people feel better after 48 hours.
What if the virus lasts longer than 48 hours?If it's still not gone after two days, call NHS Direct or your GP, because there could be something else going on.
How does winter vomiting virus spread?It's highly contagious, so anyone infected can pass on the winter vomiting bug with the smallest amount of contact, or through contaminated food, drink or surfaces. Luckily, you can stop other people catching the vomiting virus from you.
How do I treat the virus?There is no actual treatment for norovirus, apart from allowing it to run its course. Anyone who gets it should drink plenty of water, though, to avoid dehydration. Read our top tips to avoid and survive the winter vomiting virus/norovirus.
Should I go to the doctor?No. Official advice is to stay away from your surgery or A&E. The reason for this is because they can't do anything to help you, apart from confirm you have the norovirus. You also risk passing it on by going to a packed doctor's waiting room. Read how you can prevent passsing on the vomiting bug.
What if my child gets winter vomiting virus?The same advice applies. Call your doctor and follow their instructions. Make sure your son or daughter drinks lots and, if the norovirus symptoms last longer than 48 hours, get in touch with your GP or NHS Direct again on 0845 4647.
Where to next?- How to avoid or survive the winter vomiting virus
- Get all the facts on gastroenteritis
- Remedies for gastroenteritis
- How to avoid coughs and colds
- More info on the common cold and flu
- Have you had winter vomiting virus? Are you worried about getting norovirus? Talk about it with other women in Chat