NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is advising members of the public to stay at home and self-treat if they get norovirus, as cases of one of the most common stomach bugs are being seen in the community. Doctors suggest that people who get norovirus stay at home, get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and eat plain foods to help fight off the bug.
Members of the public should also take the following action to help stop the spread of the virus:
- Stay off work or school until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have passed.
- Do not visit anyone at hospital while you are still contagious.
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food. Don’t rely on alcohol hand gels, as they do not kill the virus.
- Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated. It’s best to use a bleach-based household cleaner.
- Wash any items of clothing or bedding that could have become contaminated separately on a hot wash to ensure the virus is killed.
- Don’t share towels and flannels.
- Flush away any infected poo or vomit in the toilet and clean the surrounding area.
- Avoid eating raw, unwashed produce.
Dr Richard Mendelsohn, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG said ‘’Norovirus affects between 600,000 and 1 million people each year and it’s vital that members of the public work with us to prevent the spread of the disease. The message is to stay at home, make sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet and call NHS 111 if you are concerned and need further advice.’’
For more information on how to stay well this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell.