Leading doctors in Telford and Wrekin 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.
Dr Mike Innes, Chair of Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group said:
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.
Principal symptoms can be vomiting, which can be the projectile type which can be quite violent and scary, and watery diarrhoea. Some people may also have a temperature, headache and stomach cramps.
Although it is very unpleasant it is generally short-lived, and 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 for the sake of other patients.
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.
Dr Innes added:
Really try not to visit anyone you don’t need to and avoid preparing or handling food for anyone else.
If problems persist for more than 48-hours or you are particularly concerned about the health of a more vulnerable person, such as a small child, an elderly person or someone with a pre-existing medical condition call your GP surgery or the NHS Choices website.