Norfolk health chief warning over winter vomiting bug

Lucy Macleod, interim director of public health, at Norfolk County Council.

Lucy Macleod, interim director of public health, at Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Archant

Public health chiefs in Norfolk have urged people to help prevent the spread of Norovirus, known as the winter vomiting bug.

Public health officials are asking anyone with vomiting and diarrhoea – or who has been in contact with someone with these symptoms – to remain at home and off work for at least 48 hours after their last symptoms.

They say this will help to protect Norovirus from spreading into areas such as schools, care homes and hospitals, where it may put vulnerable people at risk.

Lucy Macleod, interim director of public health at Norfolk County Council, said: 'As well as washing hands regularly with soap and warm water, try to avoid direct contact as far as possible with other people or preparing food for others until at least 48 hours after your symptoms have disappeared.

'You may still be contagious, even though you no longer have sickness or diarrhoea.'

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Norovirus is easily spread. If an infected person doesn't wash their hands before handling food, they can pass the virus on to others. You can also catch it by touching contaminated surfaces or objects.

To help prevent the virus spreading, the following measures should be followed:

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• wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water

• don't share towels and flannels

• disinfect surfaces that an infected person has touched

If you have Norovirus, you may continue to be infectious for a short period after your symptoms stop. You should therefore avoid preparing food and direct contact with others for at least 48 hours after your symptoms disappear.

If you have Norovirus, following the steps below can help ease your symptoms:

• Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration

• Take paracetamol for any fever or aches and pains

• If you feel like eating, eat foods that are easy to digest

Extra care should also be taken to prevent babies and small children who have diarrhoea and vomiting from dehydrating by giving them plenty of fluids.

For more advice and information click here.

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