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Phone: 0191 333 3584
What is Norovirus?
Norovirus (also known as the winter vomiting bug) is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK – causing diarrhoea and vomiting.
Contrary to its name, you can catch this bug at anytime of the year.
Signs and symptoms?
The signs of Norovirus can start suddenly – things to look out for:
- feeling sick (nausea)
- diarrhoea (watery)
- being sick (projectile vomiting)
- a high temperature
- a headache
- aching arms and legs
How does it spread?
Norovirus can spread very easily and can be found in both poo and sick from the infected person.
It can spread into the environment when a person has diarrhoea or is sick, as well as:
- close contact with someone who has Norovirus
- touching your mouth after touching a surface or object that has the virus on it
- breathing in small particles of the virus while having close contact
- eating food that has been prepared or handled by someone with Norovirus
How is it treated?
There is no treatment for Norovirus, so you need to let it run its course.
Tips to help you to feel better:
- keep hydrated and drink plenty of fluids
- you can take paracetamol for fever, aches, or pains
- have plenty of rest
You should start to feel better in 2-3 days.
If you are unwell and have diarrhoea or vomiting in hospital, you will be asked to stay in your bedroom. A sample of diarrhoea may be sent for testing to confirm if Norovirus is present.
The ward may be closed if several patients are affected – this may mean that visiting is restricted.
Patients will be asked to isolate until symptoms have stopped for 48 hours as a minimum.
- wash your hands regularly with soap and water – remember it’s OK to ask staff if they have washed their hands too
- disinfect surfaces or objects using a chlorine releasing agent
- wash items of clothing or bedding that may be contaminated separately on a 60c wash to ensure the virus is killed
- prepare food for others while you have norovirus
- eat raw or unwashed food
- give fizzy drinks or fruit juice to children as it can make diarrhoea worse
If I have had Norovirus recently, can I come into hospital?
Anyone, including visitors who is unwell or suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting should not visit hospital until they have been free from symptoms for 48 hours.
When can I return to work or school?
You should stay off work/school for until at least 48 hours after symptoms have stopped.
Where can I get further information?
L1188, v1 24/05/2025 (archive 24/05/26)