It’s that time of year that parents dread. Every winter it sweeps through schools with a vengeance, no-one is safe. Not even your Mum. It makes enemies in all walks of life and leaves classes half empty, parents exhausted and terrified.
It’s Norovirus, more commonly known as the Winter Vomiting Bug. It really is one of Mum’s worst enemies… after all it can bring down whole families in a matter of days.
Norovirus is incredibly unpleasant and all you can really hope for is that everyone catches it at slightly different times. (2 toilets and a family with Norovirus is never going to end well, is it?)
What is the deal with Norovirus?
Norovirus is a viral stomach bug. It causes vomiting and diarrhoea but, usually, the symptoms only last 2 days.
Generally, you will know if you or someone else has Norovirus if they
- Start being sick (vomiting)
- Have diarrhoea
However, other symptoms of the virus include:
- Feeling sick (nausea)
- A high temperature
- A headache
- Generally feeling achey and under the weather.
Can Norovirus be prevented?
Not entirely, no. That’s the short answer.
The longer answer is:
Norovirus is highly contagious and is spread by close contact with someone who has the bug, touching a surface that has been touched by someone with Norovirus, and eating food prepared by someone with it.
The only way you can TRY to prevent the spread is to PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE. Regular hand washing, ensuring that surfaces are clean, avoiding the person infected (although, this is really really difficult when it’s your child being sick and they want a hug).
It’s not foolproof, because you don’t know a person is sick until they are sick.
Treating yourself or someone else
There are no magic cures for stomach bugs. Regular sips of water to avoid dehydration is critical.
Be careful to watch for signs of dehydration, particularly in young children and the elderly.
Don’t forget to stay away from work or keep your child off school until clear of symptoms for 48 HOURS!!!