Public Health England issues a warning about the winter vomiting bug

(Last Updated On: December 6, 2018)

Public Health England has issued a warning asking those who contract norovirus during the festive season to treat their symptoms from home.

The bug, also known as the winter vomiting bug, has no cure and is very easily spread from person to person.The government body has asked anyone showing symptoms of the bug to treat their illness from home to prevent infecting others.Their warning says: “There is no cure for the winter vomiting bug. Treat yourself at home until the symptoms pass. Going to the GP puts others at risk of infection.”

Public Health England said they are not yet aware of any norovirus cases in Kent.

What are the symptoms of norovirus?

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.

The main symptoms of norovirus are feeling sick, diarrhoea and actually being sick. Others include is a high temperature of 38 Celsius or above, a headache and aching arms and legs.

The symptoms start suddenly within 1 to 2 days of being infected.

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, or eating food that’s been prepared or handled by someone with norovirus.


NHS advice on how to treat norovirus includes staying hydrated, taking paracetamol, and washing hands regularly with soap and water to prevent spread, as alcohol hand gels do not work. Staying at home from work or school for two days after symptoms clear is also recommended, to further prevent the spread of the illness.

Bob Jope Healthwatch Torbay

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Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!