Infection Control and Norovirus

What is Norovirus and how the Trust works to prevent infection.

Norovirus is a frequent cause of Viral Gastroenteritis throughout the community. It is sometimes called ‘winter vomiting disease’ as it is most common during this time of the year.

Diarrhoea and/or vomiting are the main symptoms, though some people may have a raised temperature, headaches and aching limbs.

Symptoms normally develop, on average, 24-48 hours after exposure to the virus. The illness is usually mild in nature and lasts for about two or three days.

What happens if I get the illness?

There is no specific treatment, but drinking plenty of fluids is important.
You may be moved into a side room or to an area with other patients with the same illness.

Once the illness is over, your treatment will continue as before.

If you are due to be transferred to another hospital, nursing or residential home, this may need to be delayed. Discharge to your own home may be possible.

Can I still have visitors?

Yes, however vistiors should be aware of restricted visiting times and advise.

What can be done to help prevent the spread of these viruses?

  • Thorough handwashing following toilet use
  • Thorough handwashing before handling food
  • Observe hand hygiene routines before going into a ward
  • Observe hand hygiene routines when leaving a ward
  • Anyone suffering with diarrhoea or vomiting should take extra care and avoid handling food or working in any health care facility until the symptoms have stopped

Unfortunately this type of virus spreads very easily in the type of environment provided by hospitals, residential and day care centres etc
Large numbers of patients and staff can be involved, so it is important to try and stop the illness from spreading.

Your assistance is appreciated.

For more information, please ask to speak to one of the Infection Control Nurses.