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Norovirus: symptoms, how to treat it and what precautions to take UK News

An increase in winter vomiting epidemics is expected as schools prepare to welcome students back to classrooms next week, public health experts have warned.

Norovirus, which is highly infectious and causes vomiting and diarrhea, is normally associated with the winter months.

However, cases of the virus are currently increasing across England and “it is possible that unusual or off-season increases will be seen in the coming months after further easing of Covid-19 controls,” Public Health said. England (PHE). .

There has been a concentration of outbreaks, particularly in nurseries and day care centers, with many more incidents reported to PHE than expected during the summer months.

Warning to families and teachers

Routine surveillance in early summer showed that cases started to increase in June and were “significantly higher” in children under five, with early childhood education institutions among the few. worse for spreading the virus.

In July, cases were “43% higher than the average of the previous five seasons before the emergence of Covid-19,” PHE said.

The health body is now warning that more epidemics are likely in the coming months and is urging families and teachers to take precautions.

Dr Lesley Larkin, head of surveillance for PHE’s gastrointestinal pathogens unit, said: ‘We have seen an increase in norovirus cases as restrictions on Covid-19 have eased and people mix more.

“As the children return to school next week, it is important to remember the simple steps we can all take to limit the spread of this nasty virus and reduce the risk of an epidemic.

“Stay home if you have symptoms of norovirus and don’t return to work or send children to school or nursery for 48 hours after symptoms disappear.

“As with Covid-19, hand washing is really important to help stop the spread of this virus, but remember, unlike Covid-19, alcohol gels do not kill norovirus, so soap and water are the best. ”

What is norovirus and is it contagious?

Norovirus, commonly known as the winter vomiting bug, is a highly contagious stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhea.

The virus is easily spread by close contact with infected people or by touching contaminated surfaces.

It can also be spread by eating food that has been prepared or handled by an infected person.

Although the virus can be very unpleasant, it usually goes away within a few days.

What is the incubation period?

Symptoms usually start suddenly within 24 to 48 hours of contracting the virus, although they can appear as early as 12 hours after exposure in some cases.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptoms of norovirus usually include:

  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • diarrhea
  • to be sick (to vomit)

Other common symptoms can include a high temperature, headache, and pain in the arms and legs.

How is it treated?

The best way to treat norovirus is to get enough rest and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.

Symptoms usually go away in about two to three days.

As the virus is highly contagious, it is advisable to stay home for up to 48 hours after symptoms stop to avoid spreading the virus.

What precautions can I take?

PHE urged people to take five simple precautions to help reduce the risk of contracting and spreading the virus.

These include:

  • Stay home for up to 48 hours after symptoms stop.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap. Alcohol gels do not kill noroviruses.
  • Be sure to thoroughly clean all surfaces after someone has been sick.
  • Avoid cooking and preparing meals for 48 hours after symptoms stop.
  • Wash all clothing or bedding with detergent and a temperature of 60C.

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This notice was published: 2021-08-27 10:11:47

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