This summer has seen a surge in the number of norovirus cases in nurseries and other childcare settings. Health officials are warning parents and teachers to be vigilant ahead of the return to school and nursery next week. But do you know the norovirus symptoms? And how can you treat the winter vomiting bug at home?
Health officials have warned parents and teachers to take extra measures to prevent widespread norovirus outbreaks ahead of the return to classrooms next week.
A report by Public Health England (PHE) has warned about further rises in the winter sickness bug this winter.
A surge in norovirus cases has been seen in July, with cases 43 percent higher than the average of the previous five seasons. Many of these outbreaks have been in nurseries or other childcare settings.
What is norovirus?
Norovirus is also called the winter vomiting bug. It can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be very unpleasant but doesn’t last too long, normally passing in two days.
How do you avoid catching norovirus?
Dr Lesley Larkin, surveillance lead for the gastrointestinal pathogens unit at PHE, told PA: “We have seen increases in norovirus cases as COVID-19 restrictions have eased and people mix more.
“As children head back to school next week, it’s important to remember simple steps we can all take to limit the spread of this unpleasant bug and reduce the chances of outbreaks.”
To prevent the spread of norovirus, it’s really important to keep surfaces clean where an infected person may have touched them, and to keep washing your hands with soap and water.
Public Health England gave the following advice to parents to avoid catching or spreading norovirus:
- If you have symptoms of norovirus, stay at home until 48 hours after your symptoms have passed.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Hand sanitisers do not kill the norovirus.
- Clean the area thoroughly if someone has been sick.
- If you have symptoms, don’t cook anything or prepare food and drink until 48 hours after they have passed.
- Wash clothing and bedding at 60 degrees with detergent.