Norovirus is highly contagious and can be passed on to others by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects or by eating contaminated food.
The virus spreads quickly in environments such as hospitals, schools and care homes.
Symptoms of norovirus include:
- A sudden onset of vomiting and/or diarrhoea
- A temperature
- A headache
- Stomach cramps
An expert in norovirus at the Health Protection Agency said:
Advice for the public managing a bout of norovirus:
- Do not visit your GP surgery or local A&E Unit. You will recover naturally without treatment.
- Use NHS Direct's new diarrhoea and vomiting online health and symptom checker, to get advice on how to manage your symptoms at home.
- Wash hands thoroughly and regularly at all times, but particularly after using the toilet and before eating.
- Do not visit friends or relatives in hospitals or residential care homes as there is a real risk that you would introduce the infection putting vulnerable people at risk.