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Every year, the winter vomiting virus / norovirus, affects up to 1 million people in Britain. This nasty bug causes vomiting and diarrhoea - and unfortunately, it's been reported in the news that it's on the rise again. Read our advice on how to avoid it and what to do if you think you've got it.

The best way to avoid the dreaded winter vomiting bug is to stay well away from sick people - but if you're stuck in an office, got kids to feed or shopping to do, you can't exactly live like a hermit until it disappears.

So how can you avoid the norovirus and what should you do if you're unlucky enough to get it? We've put together some top tips - using advice from NHS Direct to help you avoid this nasty bug. And we've got expert advice if you are unlucky enough to get it! 

How to avoid the norovirus

  • It may seem like common sense but always wash your hands well with soap and water after using the toilet, especially public ones.
  • Disinfect any surfaces you think could have been contaminated by the virus.
  • Avoid eating raw, unwashed food.

How to stop other people catching the norovirus from you


  • If you've got the norovirus, clean any kitchen worktops or bathroom surfaces you've touched with a disinfectant spray. This includes door handles and stair bannisters. Remember to throw out the cloth you use to wipe the sides down too. Germs can last for up to three days on unwashed surfaces and projectile vomiting can spread the germs up to 10 feet away!
  • Don't keep a bucket by the bed or with you in front of the TV. Unless you disinfect it every time you're sick, it will stay as a breeding ground for germs. Try to get to the bathroom.
  • Always flush the toilet after you've used it but make sure you put the lid down so that the water, and whatever else, doesn't splash out.
  • Change your clothes or nightclothes after you've been sick and if you're sitting around in a dressing gown or with a towel near you wash these as well.
  • Make sure you change your bedsheets as often as possible and wash them immediately on 60°C. Try not to leave them in a laundry basket.
  • Don't prepare food for anyone else for at least three days after the symptoms have gone. 

     Unfortunately there is no instant cure for the norovirus - you just

need to let it run its course. It's usually harmless, but very
unpleasant!


GP Dr Robert Henderson said: 'It's dehydration, rather than the virus
itself, that is dangerous. The loss of water and essential minerals from
dehydration prevents the body from functioning normally and causes
potentially serious complications'.

Dr Henderson recommends oral dehydration therapy that you can buy from a
supermarket or pharmacy (such as Dioralyte) to help speed up
re-hydration and replace the body salts that you have lost.

Other things you can do to help speed up recovery from the norovirus
are:
  • Sip fresh water as often as you can - although be aware that if you're
still being sick, your body won't be able to retain the fluid.
  • Stay off work (or school) until 48 hours after the symptoms have gone.
Try to avoid coming into contact with people for these few days.
  • Try sticking to a light diet when you feel up to it - foods that are
easy to digest (such as soup, rice, pasta and bread) are best to start
with.

Where to next?

- NHS Direct
- If you're pregnant and worried whether vomiting will harm the baby, read our expert advice

 

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-♦Deborah Henson ♦-

well I had it about 3 years ago, I got it from my mum who's was 82 then and in hospital, it nealy killed her, also my husband got it from the germs left on her nightcloths which I had to wash, that's how I got it and my brother also got it from the hospital, so avoid busy places pease.

Kevin

Good luck not getting it, it's HORRIBLE. It started at about 6am for me but my 18 month old son had it in the middle of the night. My mrs has it now aswel. The water does help as long as you don't mind instantly throwing it back up....

Mary Moore

My two year old grandson started being sick 3 days ago and yesterday the 7 month old baby started. My daughter has now started being sick too and I'm worried I'll catch it as I'm going to have to look after them all. I asked the chemist if they sold face masks but they sounded surprised I was asking for something like that. Surely face masks would help contain the spread in infected households?

nauseated

im sure this is what i have the start of,been feeling very sick but not actually been sick as yet and now my son says today he feels the same,so im keeping him home from school.makes you feel pretty rough but will soon pass i hope!!

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