Norovirus, sometimes known as the winter vomiting bug, is the most common stomach bug in the UK, affecting people of all ages.
Local doctors are urging people to know the signs of one of winter’s least welcome visitors, and to know what to do about it.
Cases of Norovirus usually rise considerably during the winter months.
The virus causes a short but unpleasant illness that is normally self limiting in two-three days.
Leek based GP, Dr Julie Oxtoby of North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Norovirus is a unpleasant but thankfully brief illness for most of us.”
“It’s important that people know the symptoms, know what to do if they think they have it, and try not to spread it to others.”
There are a small number of vulnerable people; such as small child and babies, the elderly and those with a pre-existing medical conditions, who should take extra advice by calling their GP surgery or visiting the NHS Choices website.
For everyone else you don’t need to visit the doctors, in fact, because the virus is so contagious, I would ask people to stay away from their surgery and A&E for the sake of other patients.
Dr Oxtoby added “Doctors cannot prescribe anything that will cure Norovirus and the most important health advice is to take plenty of drinks as the illness can cause dehydration because of the amount of fluids lost.
“You should also stay away from school, work or other places where you could pass on the illness for 48 hours after your symptoms stop.”
Norovirus is most commonly spread by touch, so good hygiene is the best way to avoid spreading it, washing hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water, not alcohol gels.
If problems persist for more than 48-hours then contract your GP surgery (by phone) for further advice.
NHS choices has a wealth of information on the symptoms, treatment and prevention of the Norovirus check out there page here http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Norovirus/Pages/Introduction.aspx