Because outbreaks are more common in the winter, colder months, the NHS in west Hampshire is asking you to help stop norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug, from spreading.
Although norovirus is not usually dangerous it can be particularly unpleasant, with a sudden feeling of sickness followed by vomiting and diarrhoea. Other symptoms include headaches, a raised temperature, painful stomach, and aching limbs. Most people can expect to make a full recovery within a couple of days.
NHS West Hampshire CCG has created a useful website called ‘Here for you’, which contains advice on what to do with common illnesses and injuries, including upset stomachs. You can access the website here: http://hereforyouhampshire.nhs.uk/
Norovirus is highly contagious and can remain active on hard surfaces for days. To help stop it spreading:
· Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food.
· Don’t share towels and flannels.
· Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated with the virus. It’s best to use a bleach-based household cleaner.
· Wash any items of clothing or bedding that could have become contaminated with the virus. Wash the items separately and on a hot wash to ensure that the virus is killed.
· Flush away any infected faeces or vomit in the toilet and clean the surrounding toilet area.
· Avoid eating raw or unwashed produce and only eat oysters, known to carry the virus, from a reliable source.
It’s important to stay at home for 48 hours and to be cautious around visiting hospital facilities.
Dr Sarah Schofield, local GP and Chair of West Hampshire CCG, says:
“This time of year does tend to see an increase in instances of this winter bug, so it’s important that we all do our bit to stop norovirus from spreading. By washing our hands and disinfecting items which could have been contaminated, we can avoid this virus from spreading to our friends and family. The winter vomiting bug is unpleasant but fortunately most people can manage their symptoms from home.”