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Understanding Norovirus

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1 Understanding Norovirus on Fri Oct 14, 2016 12:34 pm


What is Norovirus?

any of various single-stranded RNA viruses comprising the Norwalk virus

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of norovirus are very distinctive.

You're likely to have norovirus if you experience:

suddenly feeling sick
projectile vomiting
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 two or three days.

Advice for people with Norovirus

If you experience sudden diarrhoea and vomiting, the best thing to do is to stay at home until you're feeling better.
There's no cure for norovirus, so you have to let it run its course.
You don't usually need to get medical advice unless there's a risk of a more serious problem (see When to get medical advice).
To help ease your own or your child’s symptoms:

Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. You need to drink more than usual to replace the fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea – as well as water, adults could also try fruit juice and soup. Avoid giving fizzy drinks or fruit juice to children as it can make their diarrhoea worse. Babies should continue to feed as usual, either with breast milk or other milk feeds.

Take paracetamol for any fever or aches and pains.

Get plenty of rest.

If you feel like eating, eat plain foods, such as soup, rice, pasta and bread.

Use special rehydration drinks made from sachets bought from pharmacies if you have signs of dehydration, such as a dry mouth or dark urine
Adults can take anti diarrhoeal and/or anti-emetic (anti-vomiting) medication – these are not suitable for everyone though, so you should check the medicine leaflet or ask or your pharmacist or GP for advice before trying them.
Babies and young children, especially if they're less than a year old, have a greater risk of becoming dehydrated.

Norovirus can spread very easily, so you should wash your hands regularly while you're ill and stay off work or school until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have cleared, to reduce the risk of passing it on

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