London (PRWEB UK) 23 December 2013
Last winter, the norovirus - which is also known as the winter vomiting bug - affected almost 900,000 people, and the HPA warned people to do their best to avoid it and to take every precaution not to spread it. (http://bit.ly/Jzw7Dg)
Noroviris is the most common stomach bug in the UK, affecting people of all ages, and is highly contagious. However, because it has no specific cure, sufferers have to let it run its course – which is usually a couple of days. (http://bit.ly/19MZurF)
Marian Nasr, pharmacist at ChemistDirect said: “The first sign is usually a sudden sick feeling followed by forceful vomiting and watery diarrhea. Sufferers may also have a raised temperature, headaches, stomach cramps and aching limbs.
“It is important to stay hydrated and babies should be still given milk. Rehydration sachets can help, although parents should check if the product is suitable for children and the correct dosage, and if in doubt should ask their GP or pharmacist for advice.”
Norovirus is easily passed around on the hands, on surfaces that contaminated hands have touched and food they have prepared. It is hard to get rid of and lingers for up to a week after the sick person has recovered. Even clothes and sheets can be infected for days afterwards, so they must be washed at a very hot temperature to kill the virus.
Ms Nasr added: “If necessary, paracetamol can help with any fever aches and pains. Apart from the risk of dehydration, the illness is not generally dangerous – although it is very unpleasant.
“However, if symptoms persist for three days or more, sufferers should see a doctor. The main complication is dehydration, which is more dangerous in the very young and very old.”
Families are urged to make sure children wash their hands regularly, particularly after playing or going to the toilet, and before they eat food. This helps to reduce the spread of germs and encourages good habits.