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10th November 2017

NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging the local community to protect themselves and others against Norovirus, the seasonal vomiting bug.

People across Milton Keynes are being reminded about the simple steps you can take to avoid the contagious bug and anyone experiencing symptoms is encouraged to stay at home and call NHS 111 for advice. It is vital that people who may have norovirus do not visit hospitals, care homes or their GP surgery.

Norovirus is the most common stomach bug in the UK, affecting people of all ages. It is highly contagious and spreads rapidly in closed environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes. It can be spread through contact with an infected person; by contact with contaminated surfaces or by consuming contaminated food or water.

There is no treatment for the virus but it is important to keep hydrated to combat the loss of fluids. People infected with Norovirus are usually contagious from the moment they begin feeling ill to at least three days after recovery. However, most people will recover within a few days and there are no long-term effects.

Typical symptoms of a norovirus infection include:

  • The sudden onset of projectile vomiting
  • Watery diarrhoea
  • Some people also experience headaches, mild temperature and stomach cramps

For patients already ill in hospital, this virus could cause further health complications, making it vital to prevent introducing the virus into the hospital environment. We strongly urge anyone affected to stay at home and to telephone NHS 111 for advice.

Norovirus spreads quickly but there are simple steps that you can take to protect yourself and others which can help tackle the spread of Norovirus head on.

Key messages

  • Do not visit healthcare facilities, like hospitals, care homes or GP practices if you have had diarrhoea and/or vomiting until two days after symptoms have stopped (even if these were mild symptoms)
  • If you are a patient due to have a planned stay in hospital and you develop diarrhoea and/or vomiting just before you are due to go in, please inform the ward / department to let them know. They can advise you whether it is safe for you to come into hospital
  • Always wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap. You should always do this after using the toilet and before preparing food. This is good practice whether or not you have symptoms
  • Drink plenty of fluids – pay particular attention to the young and elderly for signs of dehydration
  • Do not handle or prepare food for other people until you have been free of symptoms for a minimum of three days
  • If you, or someone you care for, needs medical advice call NHS 111 or call your GP surgery in the first instance

For more information please visit www.nhs.uk/norovirus.