Norovirus is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK. It is 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.
Norovirus spreads easily. Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is the best way to stop it spreading. Alcohol hand gels do not kill norovirus.
Please stay off school or work until the symptoms have stopped for 2 days, and avoid visiting anyone in hospital during this time.
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 until the outbreak is over - which can take weeks.
The NHS website 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.
Medical warning: If you are worried about specific health issues, please seek professional medical advice.