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Advice issued to public on how to stop the spread of Norovirus over winter months

With the winter months and colder weather fast approaching, members of the public are being reminded of what to do if their friends and family suffer diarrhoea and vomiting over the winter months.

Norovirus is the main cause of winter diarrhoea and vomiting. It tends to circulate more prominently over the winter, with October seeing an increase in the number of people reporting diarrhoea and vomiting.

The best way for members of the public to protect themselves is to ensure they wash their hands after visiting the toilet, and before eating, and avoid contact with people suffering from diarrhoea and/or vomiting.

Although norovirus is unpleasant, for most people who are generally healthy it is a short lived illness of two or three days and does not require specialist treatment or a hospital admission.

People with symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting should ensure that they do not become dehydrated by continuing to drink plenty of fluids, and should stay at home.

Following this advice will help stop the spread of the highly contagious virus within communities and hospitals, helping protect vulnerable people who are at greater risk.

Tracey Cooper, assistant director of nursing – infection prevention, said: “We’ve seen a really positive response to the messages we shared with the public last year. We want to again remind everyone that they can play a part in stopping Norovirus spreading through our communities and hospitals.

“People who are generally healthy will get over a case of Norovirus within a few days, but it can be much more serious for people who are already ill, as well as the very young and elderly.

“While there have not yet been any cases of what’s commonly known as the winter vomiting bug, the health board is acting now to ensure everyone is aware of advice and guidance on how to stop the bug spreading.

“It’s important members of the public follow our advice on how to recover and prevent others from picking up the infection.

“If you experience sudden diarrhoea and vomiting, our advice is to stay at home until you’re feeling better. Try to avoid coming to hospital, as norovirus can spread to others very easily. Call your GP or NHS Direct 0845 46 47 if you’re concerned or need any advice.”

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