Norovirus, sometimes known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’, is the most common stomach bug in the UK, affecting people of all ages. It is highly contagious and is transmitted by contact with contaminated surfaces, an infected person, or consumption of contaminated food or water.
The symptoms of norovirus are very distinctive – people often report a sudden onset of nausea followed by projectile vomiting and watery diarrhoea.
Good hand hygiene is important to stop the spread of the virus.
People are advised to:
Wash their hands thoroughly using soap and water and drying them after using the toilet and before preparing food and eating
Not rely on alcohol gels as these do not kill the virus
An infection with norovirus is self-limiting and most people will make a full recovery in 1-2 days. It is important to keep hydrated – especially children and the elderly.
Do not visit either A&E or GPs with symptoms as this may spread the virus.
Further information and advice is available from NHS 111, including an online symptom checker at