Winter vomiting virus – Public Health England issues outbreak warning

Winter vomiting virus – Public Health England issues outbreak warning


Norovirus: How to clean up after someone who vomits

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Professor Saheer Gharbia – the deputy director of national infection service at PHE – pointed out the symptoms: “[A] sudden onset of nausea, projectile vomiting and diarrhoea.” Other indications of an infection include a high temperature, abdominal pain, and aching limbs. “Stay at home if you are experiencing norovirus symptoms,” said Professor Gharbia.

“Do not return to work, or send children to school or nursery, until 48 hours after symptoms have cleared.”

As Covid restrictions have eased, there has been an increase of the winter vomiting virus (also known as norovirus) in all age groups.

The highly infectious virus is easily transmitted through contact with infected individuals or contaminated surfaces.

Usually, at this time of year, PHE receives around 53 reports of a norovirus outbreak; it’s followed this pattern for the past five years, except this year.

“As with COVID-19, hand washing is really important to help stop the spread of this bug,” said Professor Gharbia.

“But unlike COVID-19, alcohol gels do not kill off norovirus so soap and water is best.”

To help reduce the spread of norovirus, people are advised not to see other people if they’re infected.

When an infected person vomits, the droplets contaminate the surrounding areas.

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It’s for this reason that a bleach-based household cleaner should be used to disinfect household areas.

To help prevent the infection from spreading within a household, bleach and hot water (or a bleach-based household cleaner) should be used to wipe down:

  • Toilets
  • Taps
  • Telephones
  • Door handles
  • Kitchen surfaces.

Those infected with norovirus are advised against cooking and preparing meals for others until 48 hours after symptoms have disappeared.

It’s also recommended to wash any contaminated clothing or bedding using detergent and a 60C wash.

“If possible, wear disposable gloves to handle contaminated items,” added Professor Gharbia.

Those showing symptoms should avoid visiting their GP or hospital settings.

The NHS stated that the symptoms of norovirus should go away within two days.

Norovirus is treatable at home, with rest and hydration being the most important routes to recovery.

Although unpleasant, you will usually start to feel back to normal within three days.

If you’re concerned about your health, do call NHS 111 to discuss your symptoms.

If you notice “bright green or yellow-green vomit”, you’re advised to call 999.

Another indication that something could be terribly wrong is if you experience a “stiff neck and pain when looking at bright lights”.

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