Winter virus symptoms: What are the 6 warning signs of norovirus?

Norovirus: How to clean up after someone who vomits

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January is a notorious month for bugs making their way round the country. Parents of young children in particular will fear the norovirus, sometimes called the winter virus, knowing this bug brings with it painful and unpleasant symptoms. Make sure you know the symptoms of norovirus to watch out for.

The norovirus, also known as “winter vomiting bug”, is particularly common during the coldest months of the year.

This stomach bug can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, and can be extremely unpleasant.

Although the virus can be particularly nasty, thankfully the symptoms are normally very short-lived.

The winter vomiting bug is incredibly contagious, so make sure you know the early warning signs, and if you or your child displays any of them, stay home from work or school.

What are the symptoms of norovirus?

According to the NHS, there are six common symptoms of norovirus to watch out for:

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

The NHS warned the virus is incredibly contagious. Its advice is: “Stay off school or work until you have not been sick or had diarrhoea for at least 2 days.

“This is when you’re most infectious.

“Do not visit hospitals or care homes during this time.”

How can you treat norovirus?

Although norovirus can really take it out of you, it’s usually treatable at home and doesn’t require a healthcare professional’s help.

The most important things for treating the norovirus are rest and plenty of fluids.

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Despite probably feeling put off your food, it’s important to eat when you can.

If your baby is unwell, carry on breast or bottle feeding them.

If they are still being sick, give them smaller feeds more often, but don’t withhold food.

Give babies who are on formula or eating solids small sips of water between meals to avoid dehydration.

Adults can take paracetamol to help manage their symptoms, such as taking down a high temperature or a headache.

Older children can have age-appropriate medicine too, but make sure you check the advice on the bottle.

When should you see a doctor about norovirus?

If you or your children are showing signs of dehydration, or if your symptoms aren’t showing signs of clearing up after two days, you should 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.

You can also get free medical advice by calling 111.

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