Treating and preventing Norovirus

Published on: Tuesday, 19-January-2016

Follow this advice to help stop the spread of Norovirus – the winter vomiting bug.

Winter vomiting (also known as ‘Norovirus’) is highly infectious and very easily transmitted from person to person through touching contaminated articles or contact with an infected person.

There is no treatment for Norovirus - it is a self-limiting infection, lasting between 12 and 48 hours and the main symptoms are diarrhoea and / or vomiting.

To help limit the spread of the winter vomiting bug, follow this advice:

  • Do not attend A&E or your GP surgery unless absolutely necessary. Phone NHS 111 for advice.
  • Don’t visit people in hospitals or care homes as you could infect patients and residents.
  • Ensure personal hygiene is maintained, in particular that hands are washed frequently with soap and water – alcohol hand gel is ineffective against Norovirus.
  • Keep away from other people as you may pass the infection on. You may remain infectious for up to 48 hours after your last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting.
  • Don’t prepare food for other people until free of symptoms for 48 hours.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to replace fluids lost.
  • If symptoms persist for more than 48 hours you should call your GP or NHS 111 for advice.
  • Clean high risk surfaces, including toilet seats, taps and door handles with hot water and bleach.

Further information is also available on the NHS choices website.