Good hygiene practices and plenty of fluid will help avoid the spread of infection and catching the notorious winter vomiting bug
Members of the public should avoid hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes if they show any symptoms of winter vomiting bug norovirus, Public Health England (PHE) has warned.
The highly contagious infection is rife during the winter months with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and a high temperature common.
PHE is advising people to avoid schools and work if they are displaying symptoms and to practise good hygiene to prevent catching or spreading the infection.
Public Health England's national infection service deputy director Nick Phin said: "Norovirus can be unpleasant and is easily passed on to those around you.
"Most people get over it within a day or two but, in the very young, elderly or those who have weakened immune systems, it can last longer and it is easy to get dehydrated, so it is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent this."
He continued: "It is transmitted by touching hands or surfaces that the virus has landed on. All surfaces should be thoroughly disinfected after any episode of illness.
"Those who have diarrhoea and vomiting should not prepare food until 48 hours after symptoms have disappeared. We advise that they should avoid visiting GP surgeries, care homes and hospitals if they have symptoms."
Anyone displaying symptoms of norovirus is urged to avoid attending hospital and instead call NHS 111 or call their GP.
Symptoms of norovirus typically show within a few hours after catching the bug, depending on how strong your immune system is, and last between 24 and 48 hours.
In an effort to prevent catching or spreading the infection, PHE strongly advises drinking plenty of fluids and washing hands regularly after using the toilet and before eating or preparing food.
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