Norovirus outbreak: what to do if you feel unwell

Generic shot of an A&E department sign
Sufferers are advised not to visit A&E departments Photo: Ryan Phillips/EMPICS Entertainment

The Health Protection Agency has issued fresh guidance to the public following a recent increase in the number of cases norovirus in the UK.

P&O Cruises confirmed that some 300 passengers on board their ship the Oriana were confined to their cabins during their recent tour of the Baltic Sea, after falling ill with vomiting and diarrhoea.

A passenger walks around the P&O cruise ship Oriana
A passenger walks around the P&O cruise ship Oriana Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Symptoms include;

  • A feeling of sickness following by forceful vomiting and watery diarrhoea.
  • A raised temperature
  • Headaches or stomach cramps
  • Aching limbs
  • Sufferers can become dehydrated.
  • The symptoms normally clear up in 1-2 days.

Since norovirus is very infectious some hospitals have been forced to close to visitors as a way of trying to stop further outbreaks.

The NHS advises that businesses should introduce hand sanitiser into office environments and that all workers should wash their hands thoroughly especially before eating.

Family members are not advises to visit elderly relatives if they have recently suffered from norovirus, especially if they are in hospital or staying in residential care homes.

How to combat the virus

  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  • If you feel like eating, eat foods that are easy to digest.
  • Take paracetamol for any fever or aches and pains.
  • Stay at home and don't go to the doctor, because norovirus is contagious and there is nothing the doctor can do while you have it.
  • However, contact your GP to seek advice if your symptoms last longer than a few days or if you already have a serious illness.