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What is Norovirus ?

Norovirus; the virus that causes the ‘winter vomiting bug’

By on August 18, 2016

Norovirus: What is Norovirus and how does it spread so rapidly?


The Health Protection Agency says there has been an increase in cases in 2016 compared with figures from last year. Every year wards in hospitals across the UK close to visitors to try to limit and prevent the spread of ‘winter vomiting bug’, Norovirus, which causes acute vomiting and diarrhoea.

What is Norovirus?

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that are the most common cause of stomach bugs in the UK, affecting all ages.

It is estimated that between 600,000 and a million people in the UK become infected each year. Noroviruses are also sometimes known as “winter vomiting viruses” or “Norwalk-like viruses”.

The symptoms

Norovirus acts very quickly. Around 12 to 48 hours after becoming infected, the virus causes a sudden onset of nausea followed by projectile vomiting and watery diarrhoea. Some people may have a fever, headaches and aching limbs – often leading people to call the illness “stomach flu”.

The illness is not generally dangerous and most people make a full recovery within one to two days. However, the very old, the very young or those who have an underlying medical condition risk becoming dehydrated which may require hospital treatment.

How is it spread?

The virus is easily transmitted from person to person by direct contact with an infected person or through contaminated food or drink or touching contaminated surfaces or objects.
It is able to survive in the environment for many days and outbreaks tend to affect more than 50% of susceptible people.
Anyone is susceptible as immunity to the virus is not long-lasting so it is common for a person to get ill from norovirus every year.
Outbreaks of Norovirus are common in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and on cruise ships. It can be difficult to control because it is so easily spread but the best way is to disinfect contaminated areas, washing hands and to avoid handling food.
Also, those who have been infected should be isolated for 48 hours after their symptoms have gone away to ensure that they cannot transmit the virus to other people.

What is the treatment?

There is no treatment other than to let the illness run its course. Those infected should stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, replacing lost electrolytes and practise good hygiene to reduce the risk of the illness spreading to other people.

Have you Suffered from Sickness whilst on a Package Holiday?

If you have suffered from holiday sickness whilst on an all-inclusive packaged holiday get in touch with a member of our team.  Holiday Sickness Claims will be happy to help you through the process of securing a No Win No Fee solicitor to represent your claim for Holiday Sickness and get the compensation you deserve.

Give us a call on 0800-8-654321 to see if you fit our panel solicitors criteria. It is a simple process and we will let you know if you are eligible, we don’t want to waste your time or ours.

If you can locate your booking confirmation and ATOL certificate that your travel agent or tour operator provided when you booked your holiday, this will speed up the process. Usually sent to your email or if you booked in a store would usually be provided in paper format. If you cannot locate a copy we can help.

Keywords: Norovirus, winter vomiting viruses, Norwalk-like viruses, viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, Health Protection Agency,



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