How to prevent the spread of 'winter vomiting bug' norovirus: Shropshire GP's top tips

A Shropshire GP has issued the latest advice on how to combat the 'winter vomiting bug' as cases rise across the county.

How to prevent the spread of 'winter vomiting bug' norovirus: Shropshire GP's top tips

Norovirus, commonly known as the 'winter vomiting bug', is highly infectious and causes vomiting and diarrhoea among other symptoms.

It is easily transmitted through contact with infected individuals or contaminated surfaces, and symptoms usually last around two days.

Dr Stefan Waldendorf, a GP at Linden Hall Surgery in Newport, has issued advice to people living in Shropshire as cases start to rise.

He said: “Norovirus is a common sickness bug, which is sadly on the rise this winter across the county.

"Although unpleasant, it usually passes in two or three days and doesn’t require treatment.

"Symptoms include sudden onset of nausea, projectile vomiting and diarrhoea but can also include a high temperature, abdominal pain and aching limbs.

“Norovirus spreads very easily, so I like to encourage people to keep surfaces clean and wash hands regularly with soap after touching things like handrails, petrol pumps and door handles.

“We must try and prevent the spread, so please stay away from work, school and nursery until 48 hours after your last symptom. Please also avoid visiting care homes, elderly relatives and hospitals whilst you are infectious.

“We’re currently getting a lot of phone calls from people with norovirus, however no medical treatment is required because there aren’t any medications that will make you better.

“GP practices are very busy, and we need to keep appointments for those patients who really need them. My advice is to get plenty of rest and drink lots of water, and you’ll likely be better in a couple of days.

“However, if you or your child isn’t improving, becomes severely dehydrated or you see blood in your vomit, please contact NHS 111 immediately for advice.”

Top tips for preventing the spread of norovirus include:

  • Stay at home if you are experiencing norovirus symptoms

  • Do not return to work or send children to school until 48 hours after symptoms have cleared. Also avoid visiting elderly or vulnerable relatives, particularly if they are in hospital or a care home

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water. Alcohol hand gels don’t kill norovirus

  • Clean surfaces with a two-step process of neutral detergent, such as washing up liquid, followed by diluted bleach or a bleach-based household cleaner. Use these to disinfect potentially contaminated household surfaces and commonly used objects such as toilets, taps, telephones, door handles and kitchen surfaces

  • If you are ill, avoid cooking and helping prepare meals for others until 48 hours after symptoms have stopped, as norovirus can be spread through food contaminated by the virus when food is handled by symptomatic people or infected individuals

  • Wash any contaminated clothing or bedding using detergent and at 60°C and, if possible, wear disposable gloves to handle contaminated items

For more information on norovirus, visit nhs.uk/conditions/norovirus/.

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