Wendover Health Centre: Winter Vomiting Disease (Norovirus)

  |  Published: Nov 22nd 2012

Winter Vomiting Disease, or Norovirus, is the most common cause of acute vomiting and diarrhoea in the UK, and occurs especially in winter months. The number of reported cases this year is significantly higher than in previous years. The common symptoms are sudden onset of nausea and vomiting, often accompanied by watery diarrhoea. Those affected may also have a fever, stomach cramps, headache or aching limbs. Although unpleasant, it is not usually dangerous and most people recover fully in a few days. There is no treatment but it is important to keep up a good intake of fluids and start eating as soon as possible. In babies, give frequent sips of fluid and continue feeding even if they are vomiting. Water or special rehydration solutions (sachets to make these up can be purchased from pharmacies) should be used.

The main danger is dehydration, especially in the young and elderly. Signs of this include thirst, reduced urine output, dry mouth, and cold hands and feet. If you are concerned that a young child or elderly person that you are caring for may be dehydrated contact us as soon as possible.

Please DO NOT come to the surgery or go to A&E if you have acute vomiting and diarrhoea: norovirus is highly infectious. Call for advice if you have concerns. You should stay at home until 48 hours after you have recovered. Good general hygiene, especially hand washing, helps to reduce spread of the infection.

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