Norovirus, also called the “winter vomiting bug”, is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be very unpleasant, but usually goes away in about 2 days.
Check if you have Norovirus
The main symptoms of norovirus are:
- feeling sick (nausea)
- being sick (vomiting)
You may also have:
- a high temperature of 38C or above
- a headache
- aching arms and legs
How to treat Norovirus yourself
You can usually treat yourself or your child at home. You should start to feel better in a day or two.
Information: Read about how to treat diarrhoea and vomiting in children and adults.
Stay off school or work until the symptoms have stopped for 2 days.
Avoid visiting anyone in hospital during this time. This is when you’re most infectious.
How Norovirus is spread
Norovirus can spread very easily. You can catch norovirus from: 1) close contact with someone with norovirus 2) touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them, then touching your mouth 3) eating food that’s been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus
Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is the best way to stop it spreading. Alcohol hand gels don’t kill norovirus.
Diarrhoea and vomiting are common in adults, children and babies. They’re often caused by a stomach bug and should stop in a few days. The advice is the same if you have diarrhoea and vomiting together or separately.
How to treat diarrhoea and vomiting
In adults and children:
– diarrhoea usually stops within 5 to 7 days
– vomiting usually stops in 1 or 2 days.
A Pharmacist can help if...
- you or your child (over 5 years) have signs of dehydration – such as dark, smelly pee or peeing less than usual
- you need to stop diarrhoea for a few hours
They may recommend:
- oral rehydration sachets you mix with water to make a drink
- medicine to stop diarrhoea for a few hours (like loperamide) – not suitable for children under 12.
Get advice from 111 now if...
- you’re worried about a baby under 12 months
- your child stops breast or bottle feeding while they’re ill
- you or your child (over 5 years) still have signs of dehydration after using oral rehydration sachets
- you or your child keep being sick and cannot keep fluid down
- you or your child have bloody diarrhoea or bleeding from the bottom
- you or your child have diarrhoea for more than 7 days or vomiting for more than 2 days