Norovirus warning: Do not leave your home for 48 hours if you’re sick

Cases of the virus are soaring in the UK, especially amongst the elderly.

Norovirus do not leave your home for 48 hours
© Shane / UNSPLASH
Norovirus do not leave your home for 48 hours

The UK has been pummeled by ice and snow over the last few weeks, and as some people are struggling to keep their houses warm, many are also getting sick with the change in temperature. Diseases like Covid-19, the flu and norovirus do very well around this time of year, and the latter is seeing a big rise in numbers across the UK.

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Although this happens every year, the latest data from the UK Health Security Agency shows that this winter has seen an exceptional peak. Health chiefs have warned that the number of Norovirus cases this year is 48% greater than the five-season average for the same two-week period. The virus affects people of all ages, but the elderly are particularly badly impacted. Here’s what health officials have said you should do if you get the virus.

Stay at home for 48 hours

Epidemiologists at the UKHSA have explained the importance of minimising the spread of this disease. Amy Douglas, norovirus epidemiologist, said that you should stay at home if you are suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting:

Do not return to work, school or nursery until 48 hours after your symptoms have stopped and don’t prepare food for others in that time either.
If you are unwell, avoid visiting people in hospitals and care homes to prevent passing on the infection in these vulnerable settings.

She urges people to wash their hands with soap and warm water. On top of this, you should use bleach-based products to clean surfaces to stop infections from spreading. She warns, ‘Alcohol gels do not kill norovirus so don’t rely on these alone’.

Norovirus symptoms and spreading

Norovirus is also known as the ‘winter vomiting bug for obvious reasons. It can be very unpleasant, but it usually goes away on its own within a couple of days. According to the NHS, the main symptoms include feeling or being sick and diarrhoea. You may also experience a high temperature, a headache, or aching arms and legs. Symptoms generally show up within one or two days of catching the virus.

You can get norovirus through contact with an infected person, object or surface. You should also be careful when eating food that’s been prepared by someone who ends up with the virus. If you catch the bug, get plenty of rest and drink a lot of fluids to avoid dehydration.

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Sources used:

Mirror: Norovirus outbreak: Huge rise in UK cases of winter vomiting bug prompts urgent warning
NHS: Norovirus (vomiting bug)

Norovirus cases are on the rise in the UK, here are the six symptoms to look out for Norovirus cases are on the rise in the UK, here are the six symptoms to look out for