Experts have warned there could be many more cases of the nasty norovirus across the UK now that Covid restrictions have been lifted and winter weather continues.
Norovirus is a nasty virus that leaves people with vomiting and diarrhea for days – and it can prove very dangerous for the young, elderly and vulnerable.
Kathleen M O’Reilly, from the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, was one of the lead researchers in a recently published study that explains why there could be many more cases of norovirus in the UK this year.
The study, published in BMC Medicine, concludes: “Continued national surveillance for endemic diseases such as norovirus will be essential after non-pharmaceutical interventions are lifted, so that health services can adequately anticipate a potential increase in cases and hospital burdens beyond normal.” can prepare experience.”
NPIs are the lockdown measures put in place to protect the country from Covid – but they have also reduced other diseases such as norovirus by encouraging people to clean their hands more and avoid unnecessary contact with others.
Norovirus spreads very easily in public places like hospitals, nursing homes and schools, where tiny particles of vomit or excrement get into a person’s nose or mouth, The Mirror reports.
dr Lesley Larkin, Surveillance Lead, Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety at the UKHSA, said: “Although to a lesser extent than before the pandemic, norovirus outbreaks continue to be reported in care homes so we encourage everyone visiting loved ones to practice good hygiene to avoid the prevent the spread of norovirus infection.
“This includes washing hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and warm water, especially after using the toilet or an episode of illness and before eating or preparing food.
“People with diarrhea and vomiting should not return to work or send sick children to school for at least 48 hours after symptoms have subsided, and ideally not prepare food during this time either.
“We advise people with symptoms to avoid visiting GP surgeries and hospitals. However, if they are concerned they should speak to their GP by phone or contact NHS 111 or visit the NHS Norovirus website.”
The six main symptoms
- watery diarrhea
- Feeling sick
- Aching arms and legs
- A high temperature
- a headache
What to do with norovirus
You must self-isolate at home until 48 hours have passed since your last illness, doctors say.
The NHS warned: “Stay away from school or work until you have not been sick or had diarrhea for at least 2 days.
“That’s where you’re most contagious.
“Do not visit hospitals or nursing homes during this time.”
The virus can survive outside the body for several days on contaminated food, so it’s important that people wash their hands regularly, especially before eating.
People are most contagious from the onset of symptoms until 48 hours after all symptoms have disappeared. They can also be contagious just before and after.