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Public Health warning over seasonal Norovirus

Published Monday 16 December 2019 at 9:00

Blackburn with Darwen’s public health team are urging people to stay at home if they are suffering from seasonal sickness or diarrhoea.

No-one wants Norovirus for Christmas but, as winter gets underway, the winter vomiting bug is starting to circulate.

Public Health England is reporting that there has been an increase of Norovirus infection in school-aged children.

Typical symptoms include: the sudden onset of projectile vomiting, watery diarrhoea, headaches, mild temperature and stomach cramps.

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.

Follow these simple steps to stop the spread:

N    No visits to hospitals, care homes or GP surgeries if you are suffering from symptoms of norovirus – send someone else to visit loved ones until you are better

O    Once you’ve been symptom-free for at least 48 hours, you’re safe to return to work or school – or to visit relatives in hospitals and care homes

R     Regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water, especially after using the toilet, and before eating or preparing food. It’s the best way to avoid picking up this nasty winter bug

O    Only hand-washing will prevent spread of norovirus – most alcohol hand gels don’t kill the virus

Dominic Harrison, Director of 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.

Your body 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.

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