Norovirus is the most common cause of infectious gastroenteritis in England and Wales and can affect any age.
Highly contagious but short acting, it is spread from person-to-person, food and water and is common in places such as hospitals, schools and cruise ships where many people are in close proximity to one another.
Also known as the “winter vomiting” virus (because of its tendency to affect people during colder months when people spend longer indoors) it is unpleasant but usually brief illness, the often lasting no more than 12 hours but can last up to 60 hours. Plenty of fluids and rest are often all that is needed to treat the virus.
In hospital, patients who are already frail and vulnerable can become quite ill if affected, therefore it is important to remember the following:
- If you are experiencing any symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting now or within the last 48 hours, please do not visit the hospital until you have been 48 hours symptom free. Even if you are feeling well, you could still be infectious
- Please ensure that there are only two visitors per bed
- If visiting more than one ward, please ensure you visit the closed ward last
- Ensure hand hygiene is performed when arriving and leaving the wards