Advice on ways of avoiding winter vomiting bug

BASIC precautions to prevent the spread of the winter vomiting bug norovirus were urged yesterday by the Scottish Government.

Scotland’s chief medical officer and chief nursing officer said that people affected by the bug should follow simple tips to stop it spreading.

They include staying hydrated, keeping hands clean and not preparing food for other people.

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Chief medical officer Sir Harry Burns said: “Norovirus, or the winter vomiting bug, spreads quickly where people are living or working in close proximity – such as schools, hospitals, care homes, offices and hotels.

“The virus is highly contagious and unpleasant, but fortunately most people make a full recovery with no complications.”

In November an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug affected patients in seven wards at Monklands Hospital in Airdrie.

The winter vomiting virus causes sickness and diarrhoea and usually lasts for 24-48 hours, but it is infectious for two days after the symptoms stop.

Chief nursing officer Ros Moore said: “The symptoms of norovirus usually clear up in a couple of days and are generally not serious.

“However, diarrhoea can be serious in babies and the elderly because of the risk of dehydration.

“If diarrhoea is persistent or there are other symptoms, such as bleeding, you should go to see your GP.”