Please find below some information
about norovirus and the steps you can take to prevent
On this page you can find out:
What is norovirus?
Noroviruses are a group of viruses that are the most common causes
of gastroenteritis (stomach bugs) in England and Wales. Norovirus
is also known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’, ‘small round structured
virus’ or ‘Norwalk-like virus’.
Norovirus often causes outbreaks because it is
easily spread and is able to survive in the environment for many
days. Outbreaks commonly occur in semi-closed environments such as
hospitals, nursing homes, schools and on cruise ships, where people
are in close contact with one another for long periods.
It is estimated that up to one million people
get infected each year in the UK.
Norovirus is easily spread from one
person to another. It can be transmitted by contact with an
infected person, by consuming contaminated food or water, or by
contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.
The infection dose is very low, swallowing as
few as 10 to 100 virus particles may be enough to cause
The most common symptoms of norovirus
- Watery diarrhoea
- Stomach cramps
- Raised temperature
- Aching limbs
However, not all those infected will
experience all of the symptoms.
Symptoms usually begin around 12 to 48 hours
after becoming infected, and can last for 12 to 60 hours. Most
people make a full recovery with in one or two days.
However some people (usually the young or the
elderly) may become dehydrated and require hospital treatment. It
is worth noting that the patient is infectious for up to 48 hours
after the symptoms have resolved.
is norovirus treated?
There is no specific treatment
for norovirus apart from letting the illness run its course. It is
important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. There
are no long-term effects from norovirus.
What can I do
to prevent the spread of norovirus?
- Good hygiene, such as frequent hand washing with soap and
water, is very important.
- Disinfection of contaminated areas for up to 48 hours after the
symptoms have subsided, for example cleaning toilets after use,
cleaning all surfaces after touching them and not preparing
- The infected person is also advised not to receive visitors or
to visit others for up to 48 hours after the symptoms have
precautions do we take as an ambulance service?
ambulance service we remain fully committed to ensuring that all
our patients receive care in a clean and safe environment.
We take infection prevention and control
seriously and have implemented policies and procedures to minimize
the risk of infections.
All our staff have been trained in hand
hygiene and issued with alcohol hand rub to ensure they can always
clean their hands in between patients. They also ensure that the
ambulance is cleaned appropriately after each patient.
More information about
For more information about what we do to
prevent infections, such as norovirus, clostridium difficile or MRSA, take
a look at our infection
control manual (PDF, 307KB).