Norovirus (vomiting bug)
Norovirus, also called the "winter vomiting bug", is a stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It can be very unpleasant, but usually goes away in about 2 days.
Check if you have norovirus
The main symptoms of norovirus are:
- feeling sick (nausea)
- being sick (vomiting)
You may also have:
- a high temperature of 38C or above
- a headache
- aching arms and legs
The symptoms start suddenly within 1 to 2 days of being infected.
How to treat norovirus yourself
You can usually treat yourself or your child at home.
The most important thing is to rest and have lots of fluids to avoid dehydration.
You should start to feel better in 2 to 3 days.
How norovirus is spread
Norovirus can spread very easily.
You can catch norovirus from:
- close contact with someone with norovirus
- touching surfaces or objects that have the virus on them, then touching your mouth
- eating food that's been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus
Washing your hands frequently with soap and water is the best way to stop it spreading. Alcohol hand gels do not kill norovirus.
Call 999 or go to A&E if you or your child:
- vomit blood or have vomit that looks like ground coffee
- have bright green or yellow vomit
- might have swallowed something poisonous
- have a stiff neck and pain when looking at bright lights
- have a sudden, severe headache or stomach ache
What we mean by severe pain
- Severe pain:
- always there and so bad it’s hard to think or talk
- you cannot sleep
- it’s very hard to move, get out of bed, go to the bathroom, wash or dress
- Moderate pain:
- always there
- makes it hard to concentrate or sleep
- you can manage to get up, wash or dress
- Mild pain:
- comes and goes
- is annoying but does not stop you doing things like going to work