Public urged to stay at home if suffering symptoms of winter vomiting
Last updated 27-Jan-12 16:21
If you are suffering from diarrhoea and/or vomiting:
- Stay at home
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Wait until you have had no symptoms for at least two days before venturing out again.
The NHS across north London is offering advice on preventing infection and dealing with the symptoms if people suffer from the virus.
Norovirus is highly contagious and causes approximately 90% of epidemic non-bacterial outbreaks of gastroenteritis (diarrhoea and/or vomiting) around the world.
It affects people of all ages and can be transmitted through water, food, air or person to person contact.
NHS North Central London Medical Director Nick Losseff said: “We must all practice excellent hand and food hygiene all the time; but even more so during the winter when norovirus, as well as simple colds and flu are far more common.
“If you suspect you may have norovirus, stay at home. It's best to let the illness run its course and your body usually fights off the infection within a couple of days.
“If you are generally fit and well, then you shouldn’t need to see your GP, but it is really important to drink plenty of water and, if you feel the need, paracetamol for any fever or aches and pains.
“And it’s not just patients who need to be careful. People caring for ill people must be equally vigilant and keep cleaning their hands. They should also be careful who they come into contact outside the home; for example, it’s not a good idea to mix with other people, and certainly shouldn’t visit people in hospital or care home until they and their patients are symptom-free for at least two days.”
People suffering from norovirus are advised to:
- Try to eat foods that are easy to digest, such as soup, rice, pasta and bread. Babies should continue with their normal feeds
- Drink plenty of fluids. This is particularly important for young children and the elderly, as they are more prone to dehydration. They will need urgent medical treatment if they start to show signs of dehydration
- Patients finding it hard to keep down fluids, should try to take small sips more frequently to keep hydrated
- To reduce the risk of passing it on to others wash your hands regularly and stay at home until you are clear of symptoms for 48 hours. Try to minimise contact with other people
- Call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or go to www.nhs.uk for further information on the symptoms and treatment of norovirus.