Clusters of Norovirus found in Guernsey

Four cases have been confirmed in Guernsey in the last two days and further cases are also suspected. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Clusters of the vomiting bug Norovirus have been detected in Guernsey.

Four cases have been confirmed in the last two days and further cases are also suspected.

Islanders are being reminded to continue practising good personal hygiene, washing their hands with soap regularly to stop the spread. Alcohol gels do not kill this virus.

Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting,

  • Projectile vomiting,

  • Diarrhoea

  • Fever

Norovirus is easily transmitted either by coming into contact with an infected person, consuming contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces or objects.

Most people make a full recovery within a couple of days, but it can be dangerous for the very young, elderly people and those with underlying health conditions. 

Norovirus transmission can easily be reduced by simple measures such as:

  • Regular handwashing with soap and water and change your towels frequently. Alcohol hand gels don’t kill norovirus.

  • Stay at home if you are unwell, avoid cooking and helping prepare meals for others until 48 hours after symptoms have stopped.

  • Do not send children to school or nursery if they have symptoms.

  • Do not return to work or an educational establishment until you have been symptom free for 48 hours i.e. no diarrhoea or vomiting for 48 hours.

Health bosses in Guernsey say outbreaks can be difficult to control and long lasting because Norovirus is easily transmitted, and the virus can survive in the environment.  The most effective way to respond to an outbreak is as follows:

  • Isolate infected individuals for up to 48 hours after their symptoms have stopped.

  • Adopt good hygiene measures especially hand washing.

  • Provide advice on food handling and ensure a high standard of cleaning and disinfection of the environment.

Islanders who have symptoms are being advised not to visit their GP surgery or local hospital until 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped. If you are concerned, health bosses recommend contacting your GP by phone and say you should take early advice in the case of elderly individuals, young children and those with weakened immune systems.

As a community we have spent over a year being vigilant for symptoms of COVID-19 and ensuring we wash our hands regularly etc. These simple measures need to become our new normal as they can protect us from all viruses and not just COVID-19.

The Office of the Committee for Health and Social Care

If you think you may have symptoms of Norovirus you can report them to the Office of Environmental Health and Pollution Regulation on tel. 01481 221161. If you have symptoms and are feeling very unwell you should contact your GP.