Norovirus (vomiting bug)

    Norovirus, also called the "winter vomiting bug", is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be very unpleasant, but usually goes away in about 2 days.

    Check if you have norovirus

    The main symptoms of norovirus are:

    • feeling sick (nausea)
    • diarrhoea
    • being sick (vomiting)

    You may also have:

    • a high temperature of 38C or above
    • a headache
    • aching arms and legs

    The symptoms start suddenly within 1 to 2 days of being infected.

    How to treat norovirus yourself

    You can usually treat yourself or your child at home.

    You should start to feel better in 2 to 3 days.

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    Stay off school or work until the symptoms have stopped for 2 days. Also avoid visiting anyone in hospital during this time.

    This is when you're most infectious.

    How norovirus is spread

    Norovirus can spread very easily.

    You can catch norovirus from:

    • close contact with someone with norovirus
    • touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them, then touching your mouth
    • eating food that's been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus

    Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is the best way to stop it spreading. Alcohol hand gels do not kill norovirus.

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