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Are you suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea? - Rest up and avoid spreading

Residents of Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire are being urged to be on the lookout for symptoms of Norovirus and take sensible precautions in case you suffer a bout this spring.

Norovirus is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK, it spreads very easily and it can affect anyone of any age, causing vomiting and diarrhoea.

Other symptoms include:

  • mild fever
  • headaches
  • stomach cramps
  • aching limbs

There is no cure for norovirus, however it usually clears up by itself within a few days and the best way to recover is through self-care at home – getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluids and washing hands regularly with soap and water.

Your GP cannot prescribe anything for norovirus and sitting in a doctor’s waiting room can put others at risk if you have a bug like this.

Dr Preeti Shukla, Clinical Lead at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG said:

“The symptoms of norovirus can be pretty unpleasant and many people’s first instinct when they’re struck down by the bug is to head straight to their GP.

“With something like a stomach bug, however, looking after yourself at home is often the best option. If you need guidance on what you can do to help yourself get better, you should contact your local pharmacist – they can provide quick advice without you having to wait for an appointment or sit in a waiting room.”

“If you are worried your stomach complaint is something more than a simple bug then do seek advice. Many GP surgeries now offer telephone consultations with a GP or Practice Nurse, who will be able to help you to decide what the best course of action might be. Alternatively call NHS111 for free and a trained advisor can talk you through the options.”

Norovirus is sometimes known as D&V or the winter vomiting bug.

Symptoms include suddenly feeling sick, projectile vomiting and watery diarrhoea. Some people can have a slight fever, headache, painful stomach cramps and aching limbs too.

The symptoms start around 12 to 72 hours after picking up the infection and can last up to 60 hours. You should stay at home for at least 48 hours after the last symptoms have cleared.

Anyone suffering from norovirus can help to stop the spread of the bug through good hand hygiene using soap and water rather than alcohol hand gels, which do not kill the virus.

For more information on staying well this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell.