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Explanations

Norovirus: What you need to know

Liz Blamire

6th March 2023

Norovirus is a gastrointestinal illness, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea. It is caused by a very common and highly contagious virus. It spreads rapidly in closed environments such as hospitals and care homes. It is sometimes known as 'winter vomiting bug' because cases peak in winter. This is likely due to:

  • people spending more time indoors in close proximity to one another, which increases the likelihood of transmission
  • the virus is more likely to be able to survive outside of the body in colder temperatures

As with all viral infections, the youngest and oldest members of our community and those that are vulnerable due to pre-existing illness or a weakened immune system are more likely to be infected and have a more serious infection.

Excellent personal hygiene and limiting contact when you have symptoms are the best way to reduce the spread of norovirus and for most people, the infection lasts just 48 hours.

Liz Blamire

Liz is the current tutor2u subject lead for Health and Social Care. She is a former NHS midwife, who has worked in community, birth centre and acute hospital settings. Liz is an SSAT Accredited Lead Practitioner, who has taught Health and Social Care in FE and secondary schools, where she was a successful HOD. Liz is an experienced senior examiner and author.

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