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Norovirus

Norovirus is an illness that causes the sudden onset of vomiting and diarrhoea, and is especially prevalent in the winter months.

It spreads very easily from person to person, and for this reason norovirus outbreaks are common in closed environments such as schools, hospitals and care homes. Please take these steps to contain the spread of norovirus in Dudley

To contain the spread of norovirus please:

  • Ensure that you and your family wash your hands regularly with soap and water, drying hands thoroughly. Do not rely on alcohol and antibacterial hand sanitizers which do not require you to wash your hands; these may not be effective against Norovirus.
  • If you or anyone you have been in contact with has been ill in the last 48 hours do not visit hospital, care homes or other vulnerable people

To contain the spread of norovirus if you are ill, please:

  • Stay at home while you are ill. You can pass the illness on to others very easily - keep away from Work, School and other meetings & events.
  • Stay at home for 48 hours after the last time you were ill – you can still pass it on to others for a short time after being ill, even when you are feeling better.
  • Rearrange non-urgent appointments, until you have been well for 48 hours.
  • Do not prepare food for others until you have been well for 48 hours.
  • If you are concerned, phone NHS Direct / your GP. Do not attend your Practice, Healthcentre or Hospital unless:
    • It is an emergency
    • You have been advised to do so by NHS Direct / your GP or Nurse.
  • Only attend accident and emergency (A&E) if you have a serious or life-threatening illness or injury. If you do have to attend, tell the ambulance staff or receptionists if you have had sickness or diarrhoea in the past 12 hours.
  • Make sure that any vomit or diarrhoea is cleaned up immediately.
  • Increase cleaning in bathrooms or where anyone has been ill – remember as well as the toilet, clean taps and ‘touch points’ like door handles.

This is especially important for children under the age of 12, both for their own protection and that of patients.

Please remember that there is no specific treatment for the illness. 
You should stay at home and let the illness run its course. If you feel very poorly, speak to your GP or NHS Direct.

To help recovery:

  • Avoid dehydration:
    • Take regular sips of water.
    • Use dehydration treatment sachets from your local pharmacy
  • Stay at home and get plenty of rest.
  • Do not use anti-diarrhoea treatments


Remember the majority of people make a full recovery in a couple of days, but you should stay at home for a further 48 hours to avoid infecting others.

If you are looking after very young children or older people please extra care as these groups are more at risk from dehydration. Urgently contact your GP or NHS Direct if you have any concerns about these groups.

Contact NHS Direct

If you think you have norovirus call the NHS Direct helpline on 0845 4647 for extra advice and information.

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