Norovirus causes diarrhoea and vomiting. It is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK. It's also called the winter vomiting bug because it's more common in winter.
Symptoms include suddenly feeling sick, projectile vomiting, and watery diarrhoea. Some people also have a slight fever, headaches, painful stomach cramps and aching limbs. The symptoms appear one to two days after you become infected and typically last for up to 2 or 3 days.
Norovirus can be very unpleasant but it usually clears up by itself in a few days. You can normally look after yourself or your child at home. Try to avoid going to your GP, as norovirus can spread to others very easily.
Practice good hand hygiene to manage illness at home and stop the spread of this unpleasant infectious bug.
The impact can be huge if norovirus is introduced into care homes and hospitals. It can lead to ward closures and make it difficult for healthcare staff to treat vulnerable patients at the busiest time of the year. The ward will be closed to visitors, and no further patients can be admitted until the outbreak is over - which can take weeks.
NHS Choices offers advice on Norovirus, including:
- Symptoms of norovirus
- What to do if you have norovirus
- When to get medical advice
- How is norovirus spread?
- Preventing norovirus.