Norovirus: 10 tips for beating the sickness bug

Here’s some advice on how to cope if you’re struck down by Norovirus.

That winter vomiting bug doesn't always come just in the colder seasons - it can strike at anytime.

But what is Norovirus?

“Norovirus is a highly infectious cause of vomiting and diarrhoea,” explains Dr Sarah Brewer, GP and registered nutritionist.

“Although it is known as the winter vomiting bug, Norovirus can strike at any time of year.

“The only good thing about it is that, while it stops intestinal lining cells from absorbing fluids to cause the diarrhoea, it doesn’t actually kill these cells as many bacterial causes of gastroenteritis such as Salmonella or Shigella do. Most people therefore make a full recovery and there’s no specific treatment.”

Here's 10 tips on dealing with Norovirus:

1. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration, and even more than you usually do to replace fluids. Try something like Dioralyte to rehydrate.

2. If you are finding it difficult to drink fluids because you feel so sick, try just taking small frequent sips of either water, squash or a fruit juice. 

3. Take paracetamol for fever and aching. 

4. Stay at home until 48 hours after the symptoms have passed as you will still be infectious.

5. It's important not to prepare food or have direct contact with others for 48 hours, if possible.

6. Wash your hands frequently, don’t share towels and disinfect any surfaces you touch as the virus can lurk on these for several days.

7. Seek medical advice if babies, small children or the elderly are affected as they may need help being rehydrated.

8. Seek medical advice if you already have a serious illness, or if symptoms last more than three days.

9. Take a probiotic supplement as this offers some protection against diarrhoea infections - try Super 20 Pro with 20 billion live bacteria, from Healthspan.

10. If you are zinc-deficient then take supplements to up your levels - zinc supplements have been shown to reduce stool volume and duration of illness, too.

How can I protect myself from Norovirus?

“Norovirus is easily spread from person to person, usually after contact with an infected person or surface that has been contaminated with the virus. Make sure you wash or disinfect your hands regularly, consider wearing gloves when travelling on public transport and avoid touching your face and mouth with your hands,” explains GP Dr Roger Henderson.

More from BT