Published Tuesday 2 December 2014 at 15:40
Blackburn with Darwen public health bosses are urging people to stay at home if they are suffering from seasonal sickness or diarrhoea.
As winter gets underway norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug, is starting to circulate.
Typical symptoms of a norovirus infection include: the sudden onset of projectile vomiting, watery diarrhoea, headaches, mild temperature and stomach cramps.
If you are experiencing any of those symptoms you should stay at home and not visit work, school, hospitals, care homes or other community settings until you have been free of symptoms for 48 hours.
There is no treatment for the virus but it is important to keep hydrated to combat the loss of fluids. Most people will recover within a few days and there are no long-term effects.
Dr Gifford Kerr, consultant in public health for Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:
“Norovirus is highly contagious and spreads rapidly in closed environments such as work, hospitals, schools and care homes. It can be spread through contact with an infected person; by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects or by consuming contaminated food or water.
“You will usually recover naturally without treatment but it is important to take plenty of drinks to replace lost fluids. Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly at all times, but particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food or eating. If symptoms persist, ask for a telephone consultation with your family doctor.”