If you are feeling unwell with nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting or general stomach upset, please refrain from visiting the surgery until you are feeling better. Click link for NHS Choices Norovirus page.
What are Noroviruses?
Noroviruses are a group of viruses that are the most common cause of gastroenteritis (stomach bugs) in England and Wales, affecting up to one million people a year. Noroviruses has also been called “winter vomiting viruses”, “small round structured viruses” or “Norwalk-like viruses”.
How does it spread?
The virus is easily transmitted from one person to another. It can be transmitted by contact with infected person; by consuming contaminated food or water or by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of Norovirus infection will begin around 12 to 48 hours after becoming infected. The illness is self-limiting and the symptoms will last for 12 to 60 hours. They will start with the sudden onset of nausea followed by projectile vomiting, and watery diarrhoea. Some people may have a raised temperature, headaches and aching limbs. Most people make a full recovery within one to two days, however some people (usually the very young or elderly) may become very dehydrated and require hospital treatment.
Why does Norovirus cause outbreaks?
Norovirus often causes outbreaks because it is easily spread from one person to another and the virus is able to survive in the environment for many days. Because there are many different strains of Norovirus, and immunity is short-lived outbreaks tend to affect more than 50 per cent of susceptible people. Outbreaks usually tend to affect people who are in semi-closed environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools and on cruise ships.
How can these outbreaks be stopped?
Outbreaks can be difficult to control and long-lasting because Norovirus is easily transmitted from one person to another and the virus can survive in the environment. The most effective way to respond to an outbreak is to disinfect contaminated areas and to institute good hygiene measures including hand-washing and provide advice on food handling and also isolating those infected for up to 48 hours after their symptoms have ceased.
If I’m suffering with Norovirus, how can I prevent others from becoming infected?
Good hygiene is important in preventing others from becoming infected – this includes thorough hand washing before and after contact. Food preparation should also be avoided until three days after symptoms have gone altogether.
When can I visit if I’ve had the virus/been in contact with someone who has had the virus?
If you have been free of the symptoms mentioned above from more than 48 hours or the person/s you have been in contact with has been free of the symptoms then it is acceptable to visit the surgeryl. If your symptoms are more recent than that we strongly recommend that you don’t visit.IF IN ANY DOUBT PLEASE DON’T VISIT.