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Norovirus: How to clean up after someone who vomits

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This summer has seen a surge in the number of norovirus cases in nurseries and other childcare settings. Health officials are warning parents and teachers to be vigilant ahead of the return to school and nursery next week. But do you know the norovirus symptoms? And how can you treat the winter vomiting bug at home?

Health officials have warned parents and teachers to take extra measures to prevent widespread norovirus outbreaks ahead of the return to classrooms next week.

A report by Public Health England (PHE) has warned about further rises in the winter sickness bug this winter.

A surge in norovirus cases has been seen in July, with cases 43 percent higher than the average of the previous five seasons. Many of these outbreaks have been in nurseries or other childcare settings.

What is norovirus?

Norovirus is also called the winter vomiting bug. It can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be very unpleasant but doesn’t last too long, normally passing in two days.

What are the six common symptoms of norovirus?

According to the NHS, these are the symptoms of norovirus to watch out for:

  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • A high temperature
  • A headache
  • Aching limbs

What should I do if I have norovirus?

Norovirus is highly contagious.

If you or your child had norovirus, amoxicillin severe stomach pain you must stay at home from nursery, school and work until your symptoms have cleared up and it has been two days since you last vomited or had diarrhoea.

You should not visit any hospitals or care homes during this time either.

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How can I treat norovirus?

To treat norovirus it is recommended that you:

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Drink lots of water and fluids
  • Carry on breast or bottle feeding your baby. If they are still being sick, give them smaller feeds more often.
  • Give babies who are on formula or eating solids small sips of water between meals.
  • Eat when you can.
  • Adults can take paracetamol – check the leaflet about how much you can give to a child.

If you are worried that you are becoming dehydrated, or your symptoms aren’t clearing up, speak to a pharmacist. To avoid spreading the infection, call the pharmacist or ask someone from outside of your household to go on your behalf.

How do you avoid catching norovirus?

Dr Lesley Larkin, surveillance lead for the gastrointestinal pathogens unit at PHE, told PA: “We have seen increases in norovirus cases as COVID-19 restrictions have eased and people mix more.

“As children head back to school next week, it’s important to remember simple steps we can all take to limit the spread of this unpleasant bug and reduce the chances of outbreaks.”

To prevent the spread of norovirus, it’s really important to keep surfaces clean where an infected person may have touched them, and to keep washing your hands with soap and water.

Public Health England gave the following advice to parents to avoid catching or spreading norovirus:

  • If you have symptoms of norovirus, stay at home until 48 hours after your symptoms have passed.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Hand sanitisers do not kill the norovirus.
  • Clean the area thoroughly if someone has been sick.
  • If you have symptoms, don’t cook anything or prepare food and drink until 48 hours after they have passed.
  • Wash clothing and bedding at 60 degrees with detergent.

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