People are advised to stay home should they get Norovirus this winter as South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust launches its #DontSpreadTheDread campaign.
Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug, is highly contagious and the trust is reminding people not to visit hospitals, GP surgeries or care homes until they have been symptom free for 48 hours.
Norovirus is the most common stomach bug in the UK and in closed environments, such as hospitals, care homes and schools, outbreaks can spread very quickly.
Judith Connor, deputy director of infection prevention and control at the trust said: “With many patients in our hospitals it’s very important we prevent and stop the potential spread of the norovirus. If the virus were to spread, it can result in ward closures and many patients and staff becoming unwell.
“That’s why we’re asking you to help us this winter and make sure you and your family #DontSpreadTheDread should you have norovirus.”
The campaign focuses on the following messages:
Help the NHS and #DontSpreadTheDread:
- Don’t visit friends or relatives in hospital if you have the bug and until you are fully recovered and symptom free for at least 48 hours.
- Check with us about coming for your hospital appointment if you’ve got any norovirus symptoms
- Stay clear of accident and emergency if you think you might have norovirus. Stay home, rest and drink plenty of fluids. If symptoms persist after a couple of days’ contact NHS 111 or your own GP.
What to do if you catch Norovirus:
- Don’t spread it – norovirus is highly contagious. Don’t visit your GP surgery, hospitals, friends, or relatives in care homes.
- Stay at home – there is no treatment for norovirus – best to rest and stay hydrated.
- Over the counter medicines can be useful to reduce symptoms such as stomach-ache, paracetamol may help.
- Wash your hands – especially after going to the toilet or before preparing food is essential in preventing the spread of norovirus.
- Disinfect surfaces – thoroughly clean hard surfaces such as door handles, taps and kitchen surfaces.
- If you become severely dehydrated or symptoms do not get better after a few days call NHS 111 or your GP surgery for advice over the phone.
For more information on Norovirus visit NHS Choices or call NHS 111.