Help Stop the Spread of Norovirus

People in Forth Valley are being advised to take some basic precautions to prevent Norovirus, which is also known as the winter vomiting bug, from spreading.

These include:

  • Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food. Don’t rely on alcohol hand gels, as they do not kill the virus
  • Disinfecting any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated using a bleach-based household cleaner
  • Washing any items of clothing or bedding that could have become contaminated separately on a hot wash to ensure the virus is killed
  • Avoiding the sharing of towels and flannels
  • Cleaning the toilet and any surrounding areas which have come into contact with vomit or diarrhea

The guidance has been provided by the NHS Forth Valley Infection Prevention and Control Team who say the simple steps that everyone can take to prevent the spread of the virus include washing your hands properly. If you have vomiting or diarrhoea you should not go to school, work or visit people in hospital or care homes until 48 hours after your symptoms have ended. This is because the virus spreads very easy and can be transmitted through close contact with someone who has been infected, touching contaminated surfaces or objects (the virus can survive outside the body for several days) or eating contaminated food if an infected person doesn’t wash their hands before handling food

NHS Forth Valley Lead Nurse for Infection Control, Trisha Miller, said:  “Rates of Norovirus fluctuate from year to year with occasional spikes so we cannot estimate how severe this winter season will be. However we remain vigilant and ready to cope with whatever the winter has in store.”

Norovirus, or the winter vomiting bug, is a common virus affecting all age groups – particularly the frail, the elderly and the young. Although it is highly infectious and unpleasant, most people make a full recovery within two to three days with no complications.

The symptoms of Norovirus usually clear up in a couple of days and are generally not serious. However, diarrhoea can be serious in babies and the elderly because of the risk of dehydration. If diarrhoea is persistent or there are other symptoms, such as bleeding, you should contact your GP.

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