Grim ‘vomiting bug’ cases spike in UK – see how to protect yourself this winter

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    Brits are being warned that a spike in grim norovirus is hitting the nation just in time for Christmas.

    In the year to November 26, 1,653 people have come down with the nasty condition according to figures from the UK Health Security Agency. That is roughly 7% above the national average for that period and has led health bosses to warn that the number of people hospitalised with seasonal illnesses is “creeping up” this year.

    Increased socialisation around the Christmas period leads to rising case numbers for a variety of viral diseases – including norovirus. It causes symptoms that include diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

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    This is made worse by weakened winter immune systems and time spent socialising indoors.

    The virus usually takes between 12 and 48 hours to develop symptoms but tends to pass within a few days, on average three. Excessively high temperatures or an inability to drink water are symptoms which, if detected, should lead you to call NHS 111.

    If you plan to go to your GP ensure you call ahead first to mitigate the highly contagious nature of the virus. It cannot be treated with antibiotics, and the vomiting and diarrhoea will cause you to lose water and salts which you must ensure you replace.

    If infected, be sure to stay at home to limit the spread of the virus and be wary of friends or relatives with weakened immune systems, including the elderly. Be sure to avoid cooking for others and wash bedsheets and other items you have been in close contact with.

    Ibuprofen and paracetamol are effective means of medicating against some symptoms, and it is important people don't return to work or school less than 48 hours after symptoms have subsided.

    Be sure to wipe down surfaces with bleach-based cleaning products and avoid foods likely to upset digestion including spicy, greasy and dairy-based products.

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    • NHS
    • Christmas
    • Norovirus
    • Health issues

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