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Norovirus Guidance

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ADVICE FOR ALL - To help prevent the spread of viral gastro-enteritis please take particular care in washing your hands, using warm water and soap, especially before preparing or eating food, after sneezing or coughing, after using the toilet and if you've had contact with anyone who has been symptomatic. Alcohol hand wash dispensers, which are becoming more readily available around most public places, are an alternative if a hand basin isn't readily available. However please remember that soap and warm water is much more effective.

Think of ways that children can be encouraged to wash their hands such as by singing 'Happy Birthday to You' twice through, which takes roughly fifteen seconds and is the amount of time it takes to thoroughly cleanse hands. It is important to encourage this practice as schools are somewhere that infections such as diarrhoea and vomiting can easily spread. Another way to minimise spread is to ensure children are kept away from school until they have been free from diarrhoea and/or vomiting for 48 hours, if the cause is thought to be infectious.

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If you are unwell with symptoms of diarrhoea and or vomiting it is important to keep away from other people as much as you can until you are better. If at all possible you shouldn't visit your GP surgery or hospital, either as a patient or a visitor. Telephone your GP or NHS 111 for advice if the symptoms do not quickly subside or you have additional concerns. In addition to this if you are visiting people in hospital please refer to the local advice for that area prior to visiting. This will also include not visiting if you have had symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting in the last 48 hours, have provided care to or had recent contact with others who have had diarrhoea and/or vomiting in the last 48 hours or are prone to infection, e.g. you are elderly, frail, pregnant, visiting with children or are immuno-compromised.

There is no specific treatment for viral gastro-enteritis apart from letting the illness run its course, but there are some simple infection control procedures to follow:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Wash hands thoroughly after using the toilet.
  • Food preparation for others should be avoided until 48 hours after symptoms have subsided.
  • Telephone your GP or NHS 111 for advice if the symptoms do not quickly subside or you have additional concerns.



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